27470

Journal, 1839

1839.

16 April 1839 • Tuesday

Escaped

16 Apr. 1839

JS and companions allowed to escape while en route to Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, for trial, Chariton County.

Aprile 16 th

22–23 April 1839 • Monday–Tuesday

President Smith and his fellow prisoners, arrived safe

22 Apr. 1839

JS reunited with wife and children, who were residing in home of John and Sarah Cleveland, Quincy, Illinois.

at 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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Ill. on Monday the 22nd of April and spent all next day greeting and receiving visits from his brethren and friends——

24 April–3 May 1839 • Wednesday–Friday

In the evening of the 24th met in council with the Church—when a committee was appointed to go to Ioway [Iowa]

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

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&c. of which he was one. Went to Ioway

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

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25 Apr. 1839

JS began investigating land for Mormon settlement, Illinois and Iowa.

made purchases

30 Apr. 1839

Church agents made initial purchases of land for Mormon settlement in Commerce, Illinois, area.

& returned on friday the 3rd May—

4 May 1839 • Saturday

Saturday 4 th May presided at general 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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near 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...

More Info
Ill.

5 May 1839 • Sunday

Sunday Do [ditto] continued.

6 May 1839 • Monday

Monday 6th met in council with the twelve

Members of a governing body in the church, with special administrative and proselytizing responsibilities. A June 1829 revelation commanded Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer to call twelve disciples, similar to the twelve apostles in the New Testament and ...

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[an]d others 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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Ill—

7 May 1839 • Tuesday

Tuesday Do [ditto]—— Do Do

10 May 1839 • Friday

May 10, Moved

9 May. 1839

JS and family moved from Quincy to log home in Commerce, Illinois.

with his family To 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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Hancock Co. Ill.

13–14 May 1839 • Monday–Tuesday

Monday 13 th Transacted various business with Br [Oliver] Granger

7 Feb. 1794–23/25 Aug. 1841. Sheriff, church agent. Born at Phelps, Ontario Co., New York. Son of Pierce Granger and Clarissa Trumble. Married Lydia Dibble, 8 Sept. 1813, at Phelps. Member of Methodist church and licensed exhorter. Sheriff of Ontario Co. ...

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&c at home attending to general business—
Tuesday Do [ditto] , Do

14–19 May 1839 • Tuesday–Sunday

On the 14 I returned 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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so kept no Minute of course, I got back here Sunday evening the 19 th May. [p. [1]]
1839.

16 April 1839 • Tuesday

Escaped

16 Apr. 1839

JS and companions allowed to escape while en route to Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, for trial, Chariton County.

Aprile 16 th 1

While being taken from Gallatin, Daviess County, Missouri, to Columbia, Boone County, Missouri, in compliance with a change of venue in their legal case, JS and fellow prisoners escaped with the cooperation of their guards near Yellow Creek. Some sources point to the possibility that the prisoners were intended to be held without bail—as hostages—until their people evacuated Missouri. If that was the case, the purpose of their incarceration was now largely fulfilled. (Promissory Note, JS to John Brassfield, 16 Apr. 1839, JS Collection, CHL; compare JS, Journal, 28 Feb. 1843, JS Collection, CHL; see also Madsen, “Missouri Court of Inquiry”; Hyrum Smith, Testimony, 1 July 1843, Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 78; and Lyman Wight, Testimony, 1 July 1843, Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 131–132.)  


22–23 April 1839 • Monday–Tuesday

President Smith and his fellow  prisoners, arrived safe

22 Apr. 1839

JS reunited with wife and children, who were residing in home of John and Sarah Cleveland, Quincy, Illinois.

at 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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Ill.  on Tuesday Monday the 22nd of April and spent  all next day greeting and receiving visits  from his brethren and friends2

In his own journal, James Mulholland noted that on this day he began again to “write for the Church.” (Mulholland, Journal, 22 Apr. 1839.)  


——

24 April–3 May 1839 • Wednesday–Friday

In the evening of the 24th met in council  with the Church—when a committee  was appointed to go to Ioway [Iowa]

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

More Info
&c.  of which he was one. Went to Ioway

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

More Info

25 Apr. 1839

JS began investigating land for Mormon settlement, Illinois and Iowa.

 made purchases

30 Apr. 1839

Church agents made initial purchases of land for Mormon settlement in Commerce, Illinois, area.

& returned on friday  the 3rd May—3

In addition to JS, this committee, which was assigned to visit Iowa “for the purpose of making locations for the church,” also included Vinson Knight and Alanson Ripley. The council determined that church members should “move on to the north as soon as they possibly can.”a The committee left Quincy the following day, 25 April 1839, to assess possibilities on both the Iowa and Illinois sides of the Mississippi River. The initial acquisitions of land in the area of Commerce, Illinois, occurred on 30 April. They consisted of 47.17 acres located south of Commerce from Isaac Galland, two additional parcels totaling 12.2 acres from Galland, and about 130 acres from Hugh White.b The church purchased additional land from Galland in Lee County, Iowa, in May and June. Deeds list a total of 18,920 acres in Iowa purchased from Galland by the church.c  


aGeneral Church Minutes, 24 Apr. 1839; compare JS History, vol. C-1, 929.

bHancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, 1840–1904, vol. 1, pp. 31–32, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

cLee Co., IA, Land Records, 1836–1961, vol. 1, pp. 507–510, 29 May 1839, microfilm 959,238; vol. 2, pp. 3–6, 13–16, 26 June 1839, microfilm 959,239, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; JS History, vol. C-1, 931–932; Alanson Ripley, Statements, ca. Jan. 1845, in Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1856, CHL.

4 May 1839 • Saturday

Saturday 4 th May presided at general  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...

View Glossary
near 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...

More Info
Ill.4

The church held the three-day conference, 4–6 May 1839, at the Presbyterian campground two miles north of Quincy.a The conference minutes, in James Mulholland’s handwriting, report that JS “addressed a few observations on the state of his own peculiar feelings, after having been so long separated from his brethren.” The conference temporarily suspended apostles Orson Hyde and William Smith from acting in their office; they regained standing by the end of June. The conference also ratified the actions of other members of the Quorum of the Twelve on 26 April 1839 at the temple site at Far West, Missouri, where they ordained new apostles to fill vacancies in their quorum and officially commenced their mission to Europe.b  


aWoodruff, Journal, 4, 5, and 6 May 1839.

bGeneral Church Minutes, 4 May 1839; JS, Journal, 25 May and 27 June 1839.

5 May 1839 • Sunday

Sunday Do [ditto] continued.5

The conference this day focused on plans for obtaining legal redress for the depredations committed against the Latter-day Saints in Missouri as well as for securing their rights in Illinois. Sidney Rigdon was assigned to present the church’s case before the national government in Washington DC. Almon Babbitt was authorized to represent the church to the state government in Springfield, Illinois. Lyman Wight was appointed to gather affidavits regarding individual losses in Missouri to be forwarded to Washington. (General Church Minutes, 5 May 1839.)  


6 May 1839 • Monday

Monday <6th> met in council with the  twelve

Members of a governing body in the church, with special administrative and proselytizing responsibilities. A June 1829 revelation commanded Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer to call twelve disciples, similar to the twelve apostles in the New Testament and ...

View Glossary
[an]d6

TEXT: “[hole burned in paper]d”. The top of the “n” is visible at the edge of the hole.  


others 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...

More Info
Ill—7

Two sessions of the conference were held this day. At the first session, a general gathering, sixty men were ordained as elders or as members of the Quorum of the Seventy and eighteen men were assigned to accompany the Quorum of the Twelve to Europe. William Marks was appointed to preside over the church in Commerce, with the church’s bishops to assist him in leadership, which effectively established a new gathering center for the church in Illinois. Later in the day, a second session of the conference involving JS, the Twelve, and the bishops was held at the home of Bishop Edward Partridge. (Woodruff, Journal, 6 May 1839; General Church Minutes, 6 May 1839.)  


7 May 1839 • Tuesday

Tuesday Do [ditto]—— Do Do8

Although the three-day general conference ended on Monday, JS spent Tuesday in council and conversation with church leaders and members. (Kimball, “History,” 104.)  


10 May 1839 • Friday

May 10, Moved

9 May. 1839

JS and family moved from Quincy to log home in Commerce, Illinois.

with his family  To 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...

More Info
Hancock Co. Ill.9

JS and family left Quincy on 9 May, accompanied by James Mulholland, and arrived in Commerce on 10 May. (Mulholland, Journal, 9 May 1839; Foote, Autobiography, 9 May 1839.)  


13–14 May 1839 • Monday–Tuesday

Monday 13 th Transacted various  business with Br [Oliver] Granger

7 Feb. 1794–23/25 Aug. 1841. Sheriff, church agent. Born at Phelps, Ontario Co., New York. Son of Pierce Granger and Clarissa Trumble. Married Lydia Dibble, 8 Sept. 1813, at Phelps. Member of Methodist church and licensed exhorter. Sheriff of Ontario Co. ...

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&c10

At the conference held in Quincy, Illinois, a week earlier, Granger was appointed an agent for the church with a commission to oversee remaining church business in Kirtland, Ohio. (Certificate, JS et al. to Oliver Granger, Commerce, IL, 13 May 1839, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 45–46; JS, Nauvoo, IL, to Oliver Granger, New York, [23] July 1840, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 159–161.)  


 at home attending to general  business—
Tuesday Do [ditto] wednesday, Do

14–19 May 1839 • Tuesday–Sunday

On the 14 I returned 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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so kept  no record <Minute> of course, I got back here  Sunday ev[en]ing the 19 th May.11

James Mulholland recorded in his personal journal that his wife accompanied him on the return to Commerce, suggesting that one purpose for his visit in Quincy was to effect a permanent move to Commerce. While his scribe was away, JS remained in Commerce, busy with various matters of church business, including directing the survey of the city plot. (Mulholland, Journal, 14–19 May 1839; JS History, vol. C-1, 940; Woodruff, Journal, 18 May 1839; Historian’s Office, “History of Brigham Young,” 28.)  


[p. [1]]
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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.  


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.  


Facts