Journal, 1839

lage was very large— a great deal of  business was transacted, and great  instruction given
See Conference Minutes—68

The church newspaper reported that JS “spoke at some length upon the situation of the Church, the difficulties they had had to contend with, and the manner in which they had been led to this place; and wished to know the views of the brethren whether they wished to appoint this a stake or not, stating that he believed it to be a good place and suited for the saints.”a The conference organized a stake in Commerce and a branch of the church across the river in Iowa Territory. JS had decided to join Sidney Rigdon on a previously announced mission to Washington DC to attempt to obtain redress for the injustices suffered by the Latter-day Saints in Missouri, and the conference appointed Judge Elias Higbee to accompany them. JS delivered several addresses, including an admonition to elders to preach with the Holy Ghost and avoid speculative teaching.b
Comprehensive Works Cited


aMinutes, Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:30–31.

bMinutes, Commerce, IL, 5 Oct. 1839, JS Letterbook 2, pp. 164–167.


Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

JS Letterbook 2 / Smith, Joseph. “Copies of Letters, &c. &c.,” 1839–1843. Joseph Smith Collection. CHL.

6–12 October 1839 • Sunday–Saturday

Week beginning Sunday 6th october
after conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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busied in  attending to general affairs of the  Church— principally about home

13 October 1839 • Sunday

Sunday 13th at meeting in the Grove

Before partial completion of Nauvoo temple, all large meetings were held outdoors in groves located near east and west sides of temple site. Had portable stands for speakers. JS referred to area as “temple stand” due to its location on brow of hill.

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 meeting small on account of cold  weather

15 October 1839 • Tuesday

Tuesday 15th oct r afternoon went to  Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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in company with Br Hiram [Hyrum Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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 J. S. Fulmer [John S. Fullmer]

21 July 1807–8 Oct. 1883. Farmer, newsman, postmaster, teacher, merchant. Born at Huntington, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Fullmer and Susannah Zerfass. Moved to Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee, spring 1832. Married Mary Ann Price, 24 May 1837...

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and Bishop [Vinson] Knight

14 Mar. 1804–31 July 1842. Farmer, druggist, school warden. Born at Norwich, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Rudolphus Knight and Rispah (Rizpah) Lee. Married Martha McBride, 14 Mar. 1826. Moved to Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., New York, by Mar. 1834....

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 Quite a number of families moving in— [1/2 page blank] [p. [14]]
JS, “Minute Book. 1839 J. Smiths Journal Escape from Prison,” Journal, Apr.–Oct. 1839; handwriting 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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; fifteen pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
Makeshift notebook, 10 x 4 inches (25 x 10 cm). The journal was fashioned by folding eight 10 x 8 inch (25 x 20 cm) sheets of paper in half lengthwise to form the notebook of sixteen leaves (thirty-two pages). Inscriptions that reach the end of a line and cross the gutter onto another leaf indicate that the folded pages were not sewn during their original use. Wear on the first and last pages indicates that the pages were not bound for some time. The text of the journal is inscribed on the first fifteen pages in black ink that later turned brown. The remaining seventeen pages are blank. At some point a cover for the notebook was made with a 10 x 16 inch (25 x 41 cm) sheet of blue-colored cover stock folded in half twice to create a 10 x 4 inch cover, which was then pamphlet bound with hand stitching. On the front cover, 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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wrote “Minute Book. | 1839 | J. Smiths Journal | Escape from Prison” with seven decorative underlines in black ink. On the back cover, the lines “Joseph Smith’s Journal | Escape from Prison 1839” are written sideways near the top in black ink. This notation, in unidentified handwriting, appears to be early archival marking. Textual redactions and use marks made in graphite pencil were added by later scribes who used the journal to produce the multivolume manuscript history of the church.
This thin journal was probably among the miscellaneous documents collectively listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records.1

Historian’s Office, “Schedule of Church Records”; “Inventory,” [2]; “Historian’s Office Inventory,” [3], Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL.

The use of the journal in connection with the manuscript history, early inventories, and recent archival records indicate that this journal—like the other JS journals—has remained in continuous church custody.2

See Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Johnson, Jeffery O. Register of the Joseph Smith Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1973.