26013

Journal, December 1841–December 1842

JS, Journal, Dec. 1841–Dec. 1842; handwriting of William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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, Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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; signatures of William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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and Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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; 90 pages; in “The Book of the Law of the Lord,” Record Book, 1841–1845, CHL. Includes shorthand; also includes redactions and use marks.
JS’s journal for December 1841–December 1842 was inscribed in a large, leather-bound blank book made with thick paper. The paper bears a star-shaped watermark in the middle of each leaf and was printed with forty-seven blue lines on each side. The text block was originally formed with thirty gatherings of eight leaves each. The second gathering, however, has only six leaves. This six-leaf gathering was either a binding error or one sheet came loose from the binding before the book was inscribed (the book’s inscription and pagination runs through this gathering without skipping any text or page numbers). The gatherings were sewn all along. Each set of front and back endpapers consisted of a gathering of four leaves of unlined paper, but only two leaves are now extant in the back gathering. The trimmed pages measure 16¼ × 10½ inches (41 × 27 cm). Headbands were sewn onto the text block. The exterior pages of the endpapers are joined to the pasteboards with a strip of pink cloth. Marbled papers featuring a shell pattern with green body and veins of red and yellow are glued to the inside covers of the boards and to the exterior page of each gathering of endpapers. The leaf edges are stained green. The text block is bound in a ledger style to the boards. The spine was constructed with four false raised bands demarcating five panels. The boards and spine are covered in suede leather with additional leather strips over the top and bottom of the book. The suede leather was blind tooled on the outside covers, the raised bands of the spine, and the turned-in edges on the inside cover. The additional leather strips, which also cover the first and fifth panels of the spine, are embossed with dual lines and vegetal designs along the borders and have gold line filling. The spine is further embossed with the number “6” in 20-point type on the fifth panel. The second and fourth panels have black-painted squares of paper glued to them. These feature gold lining and decoration at the top and bottom. The completed volume measures 17 × 11 × 2¼ inches (43 × 28 × 6 cm) and includes 244 free leaves. A penciled inscription at the inside top corner of page [ii]—the verso of the front marbled flyleaf—gives what appears to be an expensive price for this high-quality blank book: “bth | 10.00”.
Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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inscribed nine revelations in the book on the first twenty-three pages of lined paper. Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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made minor revisions to these revelation texts. Apparently either Richards or Thompson inscribed page numbers on pages 3­–18, beginning at the first page of lined paper, in a stylized script. Richards inscribed page numbers on pages 19–25 as well as on the next several dozen pages—which included journal entries for JS and records of donations in cash and in kind for the construction of the Nauvoo temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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. At some point page [1], the recto of the last leaf of unlined endpaper in the front of the book, was inscribed with a title: “THE | BOOK | of the | LAW | of the | LORD”. Because these words are hand lettered in various ornate styles, the handwriting cannot be identified. A matching title appears on the spine of the volume: the square label of black paper on the second panel of the spine bears a smaller square label of white paper with a hand-lettered inscription: “LAW | — of the — | LORD.” Willard Richards inscribed pages 26–126 of the book, with help from William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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on pages 27–28 and 72–87. Clayton inscribed the rest of the volume, pages 127–477, with help from Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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on pages 168–171 and from Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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on pages 189–190 and 192–201. These clerks and scribes generally paginated the book and inscribed dateline page headers along the way as they inscribed its texts.1

The page numbers on pages 19–71, 86–90, and 122–125 are in the handwriting of Willard Richards; on pages 72–85, 91–121, 126–167, and 171–477, in the handwriting of William Clayton; and on pages 168–170, in the handwriting of Erastus Derby. There are two pages numbered 453. Pages 476–477 constitute the last leaf of lined paper. The headers generally consist of a year or a month and year. The headers inscribed on pages 26–27, 29–71, 88–95, 119, and 121–126 are in the handwriting of Richards; the headers inscribed on pages 28, 72–87, 96–118, 120, 127–167, and 172–215 are in the handwriting of Clayton; pages 168–171, which were inscribed by Derby, have no headers. A few other pages are missing headers.  


The donation records constitute the bulk of the volume. The journal entries are inscribed on pages 26, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43, 44, 48, 56–61, 66–67, 88–95, 122–135, and 164–215. As is also the case with the pages bearing donation records, many of the pages bearing journal entries have vertical margin lines inscribed in graphite. The journal entries themselves are inscribed in ink that is now brown. Pages 165–181, however, either include or are entirely in blue ink. Some of the entries begin with a descriptive heading as well as a dateline. The entry for 6 January 1842, for example, features the large heading “The New Year”. Page 58 features the large double underlined heading “Journal of President Joseph”. Many of the entries are divided by horizontal lines. Where groups of journal entries span several pages, notes written at the beginning and end of these spans reference the previous or succeeding pages of journal entries.2

For example, page 135 points the reader to page 164, which begins by noting the continuation from page 135.  


At various stages in the production of the volume, Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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and Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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signed their names to their work (pages 126, 181, 215).
The volume contains a number of redactions that were made as the journal entries were later revised for inclusion in the “History of Joseph Smith” published in Mormon newspapers in the mid-nineteenth century.3

This serialized history drew on the journals herein, beginning with the 4 July 1855 issue of the Deseret News and with the 3 January 1857 issue of the LDS Millennial Star.  


Most of these redactions, made in graphite, were subsequently erased.4

Most of these now-erased graphite inscriptions are recoverable with bright white light and magnification. Pages 209–215, which were not erased, represent the state of the journal entries generally when they were used for drafting the “History of Joseph Smith.”  


The upper left-hand corner of page 3 bears the graphite inscription “6”, a redactive note on page 43 is inscribed in purple pencil, and red-penciled “X”s appear in the margins next to entries on pages 164 and 180. Notes written on three white and three blue slips of paper of various sizes have been inserted in various places, as well as a clipped portion of a 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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-era elder’s certificate form with no notes (apparently just a placeholder). There are also two leaves of pink paper just inside the front of the volume. All of these slips and leaves of paper are loose and appear to have been added to the book subsequent to its use as a journal.
The book is intricately related to its successor volume, the 1844–1846 donation record, and to a volume that indexed the donation records.5

Tithing and Donation Record, 1844–1846, CHL; Trustee-in-trust, Index and Accounts, 1841–1847, CHL.  


The “Law of the Lord” is listed as such in inventories of church records made in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the 1850s. These show that the volume was held for a time in the office of church president Brigham Young.6

Historian’s Office, “Inventory. Historian’s Office. 4th April 1855,” [1]; Historian’s Office, “Inventory. Historians Office. G. S. L. City April 1.1857,” [1]; Historian’s Office, “Historian’s Office Inventory G. S. L. City March 19. 1858,” [1]; Historian’s Office, “Historian’s Office Catalogue Book March 1858,” [11], Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.  


In 1880, John Taylor

1 Nov. 1808–25 July 1887. Preacher, editor, publisher, politician. Born at Milnthorpe, Westmoreland Co., England. Son of James Taylor and Agnes Taylor, members of Church of England. Around age sixteen, joined Methodists and was local preacher. Migrated from...

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, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, carried the book to a stake Relief Society conference in Salt Lake City.7

Emmeline B. Wells, “Salt Lake Stake Relief Society Conference,” Women’s Exponent, 1 July 1880, 9:22.  


At some point the book was marked on the spine with an archival sticker, which was later removed. The book eventually was housed with the papers of Joseph Fielding Smith, apparently during his tenure as church historian and recorder (1921–1970), and then became part of the First Presidency’s papers when he became church president in 1970.8

“Inventory of President Joseph Fielding Smith’s Safe,” 23 May 1970, First Presidency, General Administration Files, CHL.  


In 2010, the First Presidency gave custody of the book to the Church History Library.9

Letter of transfer, Salt Lake City, UT, 8 Jan. 2010, CHL.  


This evidence indicates continuous institutional custody and authenticity.

Facts