26013

Journal, December 1841–December 1842

6 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 6th. At home all day. In the P.M. had a visit from Dr 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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.—

7 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 7th. Spent this A.M. in Council with Patriarch 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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and some of the Twelve, and in giving instructions concerning the contemplated Journey to Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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on the 15th. of December next, and what course ought to be pursued in reference to the case of Bankruptcy.
In the P.M. Calvin A. Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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Esqr arrived, and the president called upon some of the Twelve and others to testify before Esqr Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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what they knew in reference to the appointment of Trustee in Trust &c, shewing also from the records that president Joseph was authorised by the church to purchase and hold property in the name of the church, and that he had acted in all things according to the council given to him.

8 November 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 8th. This A.M. called upon Windsor P. Lyons [Lyon]

8 Feb. 1809–Jan. 1849. Physician, druggist, merchant. Born at Orwell, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Aaron Child Lyon and Roxana Palmer. Baptized into LDS church, 1832, in New York. Lived at Willoughby, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1835–1836, where he owned a store....

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and others to make affidavits concerning the frauds and irregularities practised in the Post Office. A petition was drawn and signed by many and sent by Esqr [Calvin A.] Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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to Judge [Richard M.] Young

20 Feb. 1798–28 Nov. 1861. Attorney, judge, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jonesboro, Union Co., Illinois. Admitted to Illinois bar, 1817, in Jonesboro. Served as state representative from Union Co., 1820–1822. Married Matilda M. James...

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with a request that the latter should present the petition to the Post Master General and use his influence to have the present post master removed and a new one appointed. president Joseph was recommended for the appointment.
In the P.M. sat in court at his house as mayor.

9 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 9th. Paid Erie Rhodes $436.93 being the amount of three notes due for the N.W quarter of section 9— 6 North 8 West.

10–12 November 1842 • Thursday–Saturday

Saturday 12th. This day and also friday and the thursday was spent in the city council—

13 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 13th. At home all day

14 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 14th. In the city council—

16 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 16th. Started in company with John D. Parker

22 Nov. 1799–26 Feb. 1891. Farmer, wainwright. Born in Saratoga, Saratoga Co., New York. Son of Abel Parker and Mary Davies. Served in War of 1812 as teamster in General John E. Wool’s company, 1813–1814. Married Harriet Sherwood. Moved to Galway, Saratoga...

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up the River

Principal U.S. river running southward from Itasca Lake, Minnesota, to Gulf of Mexico. Covered 3,160-mile course, 1839 (now about 2,350 miles). Drains about 1,100,000 square miles. Steamboat travel on Mississippi very important in 1830s and 1840s for shipping...

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22 November 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 22nd. This day returned home

23 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 23rd. At home all day

26 November 1842 • Saturday

Saturday 26th. At home nearly all day. Went to visit Elder. Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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who was taken sick very suddenly. Tarried 2 or three hours in council &c.

27 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 27th. At home. Visited Elder Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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.

28 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 28th. At home all day. Some charges having been instituted by the stone cutters against the 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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Committee, at president Josephs request the parties appeared at his house this day to have the difficulties settled. An investigation [p. 210]

6 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 6th. At home all day. In the P.M. had a visit from Dr W[illard] 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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.—

7 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 7th. Spent this A.M. in Council with Patriarch 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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and some of the  Twelve, and in giving instructions concerning the contemplated Journey  to Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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on the 15th. of December next, and what course ought to  be pursued in reference to the case of Bankruptcy.517

Attorney Calvin A. Warren advised church members seven months earlier regarding the new federal bankruptcy law, after which JS petitioned, on 28 April 1842, to have his debts discharged.a Following an initial hearing that began on 6 June 1842, JS’s hearing for “final discharge from all his debts” was set for 1 October 1842.b Justin Butterfield, United States attorney for Illinois, objected to the discharge, however, alleging that JS had more assets—especially land—than he had disclosed.c Because of Butterfield’s opposition, the court reset 15 December 1842 for a final bankruptcy hearing.d In spite of continued efforts, JS was not granted bankruptcy before his death.  


aJS, Journal, 14 Apr. 1842; see also the bankruptcy notices that appeared in The Wasp from 7 May 1842 through 11 June 1842.

bJustin Butterfield, Chicago, IL, to Charles B. Penrose, 2 Aug. 1842, microfilm, Records of the Solicitor of the Treasury, copy at CHL.

cOaks and Bentley, “Joseph Smith and Legal Process,” 740–741, 756–763.

dJustin Butterfield, Chicago, IL, to Charles B. Penrose, 13 Oct. 1842, microfilm, Records of the Solicitor of the Treasury, copy at CHL; JS, Journal, 9–20 Dec. 1842.

In the P.M. C[alvin] A. Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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Esqr arrived, and the president called upon  some of the Twelve and others to testify before Esqr Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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what they  knew in reference to the appointment of Trustee in Trust &c, shewing  also from the records that president Joseph was authorised by the church  to purchase and hold property in the name of the church, and that he  had acted in all things according to the council given to him.518

JS was elected sole trustee for the church on 30 January 1841 in Nauvoo, with authority to “receive acquire manage or convey property” for the church. (Appointment, 2 Feb. 1841, Hancock Co., IL, Bonds and Mortgages, vol. 1, p. 97, microfilm 954,776, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; see also An Act concerning Religious Societies [6 Feb. 1835], Laws of the State of Illinois [1834–1835], pp. 147–149, secs. 1 and 3.)  


8 November 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 8th. This A.M. called upon Windsor P. Lyons [Lyon]

8 Feb. 1809–Jan. 1849. Physician, druggist, merchant. Born at Orwell, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Aaron Child Lyon and Roxana Palmer. Baptized into LDS church, 1832, in New York. Lived at Willoughby, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1835–1836, where he owned a store....

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and others to make affidavits  concerning the frauds and irregularities practised in the Post Office.519

The affidavits charged that “letters had frequently been broken open money detained, and letters charged twice over &c &c.” (JS per William Clayton, Nauvoo, IL, to Richard M. Young, Washington DC, 9 Feb. 1843, copy, Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU; see also JS, Journal, 8 Sept. 1842.)  


 A petition was drawn and signed by many and sent by Esqr [Calvin A.] Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

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 to Judge [Richard M.] Young

20 Feb. 1798–28 Nov. 1861. Attorney, judge, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Moved to Jonesboro, Union Co., Illinois. Admitted to Illinois bar, 1817, in Jonesboro. Served as state representative from Union Co., 1820–1822. Married Matilda M. James...

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with a request that the latter should present the  petition to the Post Master General520

Charles A. Wickliffe.  


and use his influence to have the  present post master removed and a new one appointed.521

Sidney Rigdon was serving as postmaster of Nauvoo at the time. JS stated in a letter to Illinois senator Richard M. Young the following February that no response had been received to the petition to the postmaster general. (JS per William Clayton, Nauvoo, IL, to Richard M. Young, Washington DC, 9 Feb. 1843, copy, Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU; JS, Journal, 13 Feb. 1843.)  


president Joseph  was recommended for the appointment.
In the P.M. sat in court at his house as mayor.522

According to the provisions of the Nauvoo charter, the mayor served as a justice of the peace and had “exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation.” The mayor also served as chief justice of the municipal court. (An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo [16 Dec. 1840], Laws of the State of Illinois [1840–1841], p. 55, secs. 16–17.)  


9 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 9th. Paid E[rie] Rhodes $436.93 being the amount of three notes due for the  N.W quarter of section 9— 6 North 8 West.523

Erie Rhodes died in October 1841. This payment was likely made to the estate of Erie Rhodes as part of a land puchase on 16 September 1841. (Promissory note, JS to Erie Rhodes, 16 Sept. 1841, JS Collection, CHL.)  


10–12 November 1842 • Thursday–Saturday

Saturday 12th. This day and also friday and the thursday was spent in the city  council—

13 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 13th. At home all day

14 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 14th. In the city council—524

On this date, the Nauvoo City Council passed “An Ordinance Regulating the proceedings on Writs of Habeas Corpus.” This ordinance followed earlier ordinances on habeas corpus passed by the city council on 5 July, 8 August, and 9 September 1842. The ordinance was the culmination of efforts attempting to protect JS from arrest and trial outside of Nauvoo. Among other things, it empowered the Nauvoo Municipal Court to issue writs of habeas corpus for “any Person or Persons” detained “for any criminal or supposed criminal matter” and to discharge them if the original arrest could be shown, “by hearing the testimony & arguments” of all interested parties, to be invalid. (Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 5 July 1842, 86–87; 8 Aug. 1842, 98–99; 9 Sept. 1842, 101; 14 Nov. 1842, 119–129.)  


16 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 16th. Started in company with John D. Parker

22 Nov. 1799–26 Feb. 1891. Farmer, wainwright. Born in Saratoga, Saratoga Co., New York. Son of Abel Parker and Mary Davies. Served in War of 1812 as teamster in General John E. Wool’s company, 1813–1814. Married Harriet Sherwood. Moved to Galway, Saratoga...

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up the River

Principal U.S. river running southward from Itasca Lake, Minnesota, to Gulf of Mexico. Covered 3,160-mile course, 1839 (now about 2,350 miles). Drains about 1,100,000 square miles. Steamboat travel on Mississippi very important in 1830s and 1840s for shipping...

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22 November 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 22nd. This day returned home

23 November 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 23rd. At home all day

26 November 1842 • Saturday

Saturday 26th. At home nearly all day. Went to visit E[lde]r. Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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who was taken  sick very suddenly.525

Young’s history records that he was “attacked with a slight fit of apoplexy.” (Historian’s Office, Brigham Young History Drafts, 66, part B.)  


Tarried 2 or three hours in council &c.

27 November 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 27th. At home. Visited E[lde]r B[righam] Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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.526

Young’s history records that he suffered from a “violent fever” this day and that JS and Willard Richards “administered” to him. JS sat by him for six hours. (Historian’s Office, Brigham Young History Drafts, 66, part B.)  


28 November 1842 • Monday

Monday 28th. At home all day. Some charges having been instituted by the stone cutter<s>  against the 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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Committee,527

Committee member Alpheus Cutler was not mentioned in the complaint, probably because he spent the previous winter with the church’s lumber operations in Wisconsin Territory, returning in July 1842, and had not been as active in the management of the stonecutters. The “principal” charges against Reynolds Cahoon and Elias Higbee were “an unequal distribution of provisions, also giving more iron & steel tools to Cahoons sons than to others. Also giving short measure of wood to father Huntington [William Huntington Sr.]; also letting the first course of stone around the Temple to the man who would do it for the least price &c.” (Clayton, Journal, 28 Nov. 1842; Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 30 July 1842.)  


at president Josephs request the parties  appeared at his house this day to have the difficulties settled. An investigation [p. 210]
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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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, 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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, 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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recorded JS’s journal entries from 13 December 1841 through 20 December 1842 in a large leather-bound blank book. The book was first used by church recorder 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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to copy revelations. Between January 1841 and his death on 27 August the same year, Thompson recorded nine of JS’s revelations, beginning with the 19 January 1841 revelation commanding the building of the 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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, Illinois, 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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and a boardinghouse called the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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. On 11 December 1841, following his election as “sole Trustee in Trust for the Church” earlier in the year, JS instructed that all donations for building the Nauvoo temple be received directly through his office rather than through the committee overseeing construction of the temple. Two days later, he appointed Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as recorder for the temple and as his personal scribe. Richards then became custodian of the book Thompson had used for recording revelations, and Richards apparently began recording journal entries and tithing donations in some manner on that same day. However, the quality of inscription for the journal entries in the book suggests that they are copies of previously inscribed notes, and if Richards began making such notes in mid-December it is less certain when he began copying them into the book.1

One of Richards’s entries records that he was ill “& did not take notes.” Other entries, such as those dictated by JS to William Clayton while in hiding, are clearly copies of previously inscribed notes. (JS, Journal, 17 June 1842; 16 and 23 Aug. 1842.)  


The book apparently was kept in the “counting room” on the lower floor of JS’s red brick store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

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on Water Street, where Richards received and entered donations and also inscribed JS’s journal.2

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 16; Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


Journal entries and donations were kept concurrently in the book, alternating sometimes every other page and chronologically leapfrogging each other. This pattern was especially pronounced near the beginning of the book, where donations and journal entries occasionally appear together on a single page. Over time, however, larger and larger blocks of text were dedicated to either donations or journal entries until eventually, in December 1842, the journal was transferred to another book. This slow separation or disentanglement of the journal and donation records—the reasons for which are unclear—was completed long before the volume was filled; indeed, only 90 of the volume’s 478 pages include journal entries, and all of these are within the first 215 pages. In several places it is clear that lists of donations were recorded earlier than were the journal entries found on preceding pages; that is, Richards and William Clayton—who was assigned to assist in the recorder’s office 10 February 1842—left several pages blank between lists of donations and then later filled in those pages with journal entries.3

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18; Clayton, Journal, 10 Feb. 1843.  


This practice sometimes left the scribes with insufficient space to finish a journal entry before running into the list of donations, requiring them to continue the entry several pages later.4

For example, the donation records on pages 136–163 were evidently inscribed before the 16 August 1842 journal entry, which begins on page 135 and is continued on page 164.  


The interspersing of journal entries with pages of donation records, as well as JS’s conscious efforts to record the names of people who helped him, suggests that the volume as a whole was understood in terms of an 1832 revelation that “a hystory and a general church record” must be kept “of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties . . . and also there manner of life and the[ir] faith and works.” This record was to be kept in a book called “the book of the Law of God”—a book whose name parallels that of “the book of the law of the Lord” mentioned in the Old Testament.5

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1–2 [D&C 85:1–2, 5]; 2 Chronicles 17:9; 34:14; Nehemiah 9:3.  


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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continued the pagination of 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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’s revelation transcripts and, at some point in time, the title “The Book of the Law of the Lord” was inscribed in the front of the book Richards was filling with journal entries and donation records. That the revelation transcripts, donation records, and journal entries appear under the same title and pagination suggests the book’s creators understood its title to comprehend all of its parts.
During the first few months of keeping JS’s journal, 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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included events that occurred before his appointment as JS’s scribe and temple recorder as well as current journal entries. For example, in his 13 December 1841 entry on deteriorating conditions in Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

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, Illinois, Richards explained what led church members to settle there in the first place. At times these retrospective entries eclipse the events of the day on which they were written and have no apparent connection to surrounding entries. The entries for 17 and 29 December 1841, for example, relate to Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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’s July 1841 arrival at 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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following his mission to England and to the October 1841 laying of the cornerstone for the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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, respectively, but they record nothing about the events of 17 and 29 December. Multiple entries for individual days, sometimes separated by several pages, add to the complexity of the first part of the journal and also suggest that Richards wrote retrospectively at least part of the time. Only after Richards moved into the Smith home in mid-January 1842 and was able to more closely observe JS’s actions did the entries become more regular, and even then multiple entries occasionally occurred. Immediately preceding the entry for 15 January 1842, the header “Journal of President Joseph” appears—showing that by the time he moved into JS’s home, Richards considered the daily entries he was keeping as journal entries.6

See also the entry for 29 June 1842, in which Richards transferred “this Journal” to his assistant William Clayton.  


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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kept JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 29 June 1842, shortly after which he left for Richmond, Massachusetts, to bring his family to 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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. Among the numerous topics addressed in Richards’s entries are problems relating to the purchase of land in the Nauvoo area, the organization of the Female Relief Society, and the developing rift between JS and two of his close associates, John C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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and 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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. When Richards left for Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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, he transferred the book—and therefore JS’s journal—to his assistant, 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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, to keep during his absence. Two months later, in early September, Clayton was appointed temple recorder, officially replacing Richards as custodian of the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of Clayton’s entries include accounts of JS’s activities during the day as well as his activities later in the evening. In some of these entries, the record of the evening events is inscribed in an ink that differs from the ink he used to record JS’s activities earlier in the day yet matches that of the following day’s entry. This indicates that he was probably writing in the book about some events the very day they occurred.7

Pages 207–209, for example, contain such inscriptions. Willard Richards’s entry for 10 March 1842 also indicates contemporaneous inscription.  


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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’s first entry (30 June 1842) retrospectively records three events dealing with 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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—the dedication of the baptismal font on 8 November 1841, a miraculous healing in the waters of the font in February 1842, and a deposit made in the cornerstone on 25 September 1841. JS may have directed the inclusion of this material after having “heard the Recorder [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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] Read in the Law of the Lord” the day before;8

JS, Journal, 29 June 1842.  


alternatively, Clayton may have recorded it on his own in his role as assistant temple recorder. Either way, its inclusion clearly demonstrates the desire to include information about the temple in the record. The Book of the Law of the Lord was to be kept in the temple when it was completed.9

Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


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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had kept JS’s journal for little more than a month when, on 8 August 1842, JS was arrested as part of an effort to extradite him to 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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to stand trial for alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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.10

JS, Journal, 8 Aug. 1842.  


JS’s subsequent efforts to avoid extradition to Missouri were attended by a flurry of letter writing among JS, his associates, and Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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governor Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

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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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, a private teacher living in the Smith home, 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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, who also had clerical skills, assisted Clayton in copying these and other letters into the journal. Among other things, this correspondence provides valuable insight into the thoughts and character of several of 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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’s leading citizens. Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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’s articulate and thoughtful letters to Carlin, for example, in which she argued against the legality of Boggs’s affidavit and the entire extradition proceedings, reveal a woman of ability and resourcefulness. Two of JS’s letters written to members of the church during this period provided important instructions regarding proxy baptisms for deceased persons and record keeping. Clayton and Snow also copied into the journal three of the early letters in a lengthy series between JS and his 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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correspondent James Arlington Bennet

21 Dec. 1788–25 Dec. 1863. Attorney, newspaper publisher, educator, author. Born in New York. Married first Sophia, ca. 1811. Served as third and later second lieutenant in First U.S. Artillery, 1 Aug. 1813–14 Oct. 1814. Published American System of Practical...

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.
JS spent much of the last five months of 1842 in hiding to avoid arrest and extradition to 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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. Periods of enforced solitude gave him time for sustained reflection and opportunity to commit his thoughts to paper. Lengthy recitations of the names and deeds of his loyal friends, and explicit references to his desire to have them recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord are unique features of this part of his journal and contribute—like the lists of donations for the temple—to the unusual character of the book as a whole.
Although 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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returned to 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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with his family on 30 October 1842, 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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continued keeping JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 20 December of that year. Clayton’s entries end with a recital of his, Richards’s, and several other men’s efforts in Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Illinois, to resolve a bankruptcy case involving JS. While there, they also counseled with Judge Stephen A. Douglas

23 Apr. 1813–3 June 1861. Lawyer, politician. Born at Brandon, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Stephen Arnold Douglass and Sarah Fisk. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Moved to Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois, 1833. Served as attorney general of Illinois...

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, United States district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

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, and newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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regarding the effort to extradite JS to 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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. All three gave suggestions for how JS might safely and successfully proceed in the case against him. On 21 December 1842, the day following the party’s return to 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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, JS appointed Richards his “private se[c]retary & historian” and Richards began keeping a new journal for JS in a small memorandum book.11

JS, Journal, 21 Dec. 1842.  


As temple recorder, Clayton retained possession of the Book of the Law of the Lord, in which he continued to record tithing and other donations.
 
Chronological Index to Journal Entries
 
Journal entries in the Book of the Law of the Lord were not always dated sequentially. In addition, there are several dates for which more than one entry was made, often with entries for other dates intervening. This chronological index helps to locate journal entries. In this index, sequential journal entries are not individually listed, and dates with no journal entry are not noted.
DateManuscript PagePage in JSP, J2
December 184126, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43–4410–21
Dec. 18413616
11–13 Dec. 18413314–15
13 Dec. 184126, 3310–11, 15–16
14 Dec. 18412611
15–16 Dec. 18413113–14
17 Dec. 18412611
22 Dec. 18413616–17
24–28 Dec. 18413917–19
29–31 Dec. 184143–4419–21
January 184231, 43–44, 48, 56–60, 66–6714, 21–32, 36–38
1 Jan. 18424421
4 Jan. 18424823–24
5 Jan. 184231, 4414, 21
6 Jan. 18425725–26
12–16 Jan. 18424824
15 Jan. 18425826–27
16 Jan. 184248, 5824, 27
17 Jan. 184243, 56, 5820–21, 24–25, 27
18–22 Jan. 18425827–30
23 Jan. 184259, 6630, 36–37
24 Jan. 18425930
25 Jan. 184259, 6630, 37
26–27 Jan. 18425930–31
28 Jan. 184259, 6731, 38
29–31 Jan. 18426031–32
February–July 184260–61, 88–95, 122–12832–36, 38–80
August 1842128–135, 164–167, 179–18480–99, 115–124
3–15 Aug. 1842128–13580–92
16 Aug. 1842135, 164–16593–96
17–21 Aug. 1842165–16796–99
Copied Correspondence168–178100–114
23–31 Aug. 1842179–184115–124
September–December 1842184–215124–183

Facts