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Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 2, 10 March 1843–14 July 1843

Journal, December 1842–June 1844; Book 2, 10 March 1843–14 July 1843

voted that Peletiah Brown go to the village of Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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. in the State of N. york. & build up a church. . . .
Bro Brown— signified his willingness to go any where the conference shall direct.
Singing by Quoir.—
Templee committee were called up for trial. at 11. o’clock. Wm 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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said. some may expect I am going to be a means of a downfall. of 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. tis not so. but I design to shew they have been partial.
Elder Higby [Elias Higbee]

23 Oct. 1795–8 June 1843. Clerk, judge, surveyor. Born at Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey. Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers. Moved to Clermont Co., Ohio, 1803. Married Sarah Elizabeth Ward, 10 Sept. 1818, in Tate Township, Clermont Co. Lived at ...

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has over run the amount allowed by trustees about ¼.— pretty much all elder Higby’s son has receivd in money & store pay.— Higbys son has had nothing deducted [p. [78]]
voted that Peletiah Brown go to the  village of Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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. in the State of  N. york. & build up a church. . . .
Bro Brown— signified his willingness to  go any where the conferenc[e] shall direct.
Singing by Quoir.—
Templee committee were called up  for trial.171

Clayton’s complaint against the temple committee had been mentioned the previous day, but the trial was postponed to allow Clayton more time to present his evidence. As the journal entry indicates, the temple committee’s responsibilities included managing the temple store—stocked through the donations of church members—where those working to build the temple could obtain provisions in exchange for their labor. The temple committee had been accused of mismanagement on at least two earlier occasions. (JS, Journal, 1 Oct. 1842; 28 Nov. 1842; 6 Apr. 1843; “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:625–627.)  


at 11. o’clock. <Wm 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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said.> some may  expect I am going to be a means of  a downfall. of 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.  tis not so. but I design to shew they  have been partial.172

Clayton began assisting Willard Richards in recording donations for the temple on 14 February 1842 and replaced Richards as temple recorder on 3 September 1842. (Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18, 31.)  


Elder Higby [Elias Higbee]

23 Oct. 1795–8 June 1843. Clerk, judge, surveyor. Born at Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey. Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers. Moved to Clermont Co., Ohio, 1803. Married Sarah Elizabeth Ward, 10 Sept. 1818, in Tate Township, Clermont Co. Lived at ...

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has over run the  amount allowed by trustees about  ¼.— pretty much all elder Higby’s  son has receivd in money & store  pay.— Higbys son has had nothing deducted [p. [78]]
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JS, “President Joseph Smith’s Journal,” Journal, 4 vols., Dec. 1842–June 1844; handwriting and signatures of 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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; 1,045 pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes shorthand and illustrations; also includes redactions, use marks, and archival stickers.
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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kept “President Joseph Smith’s Journal” in four small memorandum books. The paper in book 1 is blue, while the paper in books 2–4 is white. In the first two books, the paper was printed with seventeen blue lines and extra space for page headers, whereas the paper for book 3 was printed with nineteen blue lines and no header space. The first eight gatherings of paper for book 4 were printed with sixteen blue lines and header space, while the last nine gatherings were printed with nineteen blue lines and no header space. The four volumes have 147, 160, 142, and 190 free leaves, respectively, and were sewn with all-along sewing. The leaves in books 1–3 were trimmed to measure 6 × 3¾ inches (15 × 10 cm), while the paper in book 4 measures 6¼ × 3¾ inches (16 × 10 cm). Books 2–4 have the same red-speckled stain on the page edges. All four books were bound with a tight-back case binding and have brown leather over pasteboards. Books 1–3 measure 6¼ × 4 × ¾ inches (16 × 10 × 2 cm); book 4 measures 6⅜ × 4 × ¾ inches (16 × 10 × 2 cm). The outside covers of book 1 feature an embossed pattern around the borders. The cover of book 4 is red and features a gold pattern around the borders on the front and the back.
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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inscribed most of the journal entries in these memorandum books with a quill pen in ink that is now brown, although he also used blue ink for several entries. Some of the graphite inscriptions in the volumes are also contemporaneous. Richards paginated the first 114 of the 285 inscribed pages in book 1—discounting the title page that precedes the pagination—and the first 20 of the 309 inscribed pages in book 2. There is no pagination in books 3–4. In book 2, pages 11, 17, and 20–21 feature illustrations of celestial observations.
The 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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memorandum books include later inscriptions that are not transcribed in this edition. At the end of book 2, Thomas Bullock added a list 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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-era plural marriages. A few revisions, additions, or notes are penciled in throughout the volumes. There are also several use marks throughout the volumes—probably made when the journal entries were later revised for inclusion in the “History of Joseph Smith” published in Mormon newspapers in the mid-nineteenth century.1

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


The spines of the volumes are now labeled with blue-colored paper stickers that probably date from the early Utah period.2

The labels on the spines of the four volumes read respectively as follows: “Joseph Smith’s Journal—1842–3 by Willard Richards” (book 1); “Joseph Smith’s Journal by W. Richards 1843” (book 2); “Joseph Smith’s Journal by W. Richards 1843–4” (book 3); and “W. Richards’ Journal 1844 <Vol. 4>” (book 4; Richards kept JS’s journal in the front of this volume, and after JS’s death Richards kept his own journal in the back of the volume).  


Each of the four volumes also bears the mark of a square sticker removed from the upper right-hand corner of the outside front cover. Finally, a “Historian’s Office Archives” self-adhesive paper sticker appears in the front inside cover or on the first flyleaf of each book.
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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identified himself as the scribe for the journal on the title pages of books 1 and 4. Because Richards kept the journals for JS and kept his own journal in the back of book 4 after JS’s death, the books may be included in the listing of “Drs private books & Papers”3

“Drs” in the quotation is a reference to Richards, a Thomsonian doctor. (“History of Willard Richards,” Deseret News, 23 June 1858, 73)  


in the inventory of church records made 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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, Illinois, in 1846.4

“Schedule of Church Records,” Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.  


The volumes are listed in inventories made in Salt Lake City, Utah, by the Church Historian’s Office in 1855, 1858, and 1878, as well as in the 1973 register of the JS Collection.5

“Inventory. Historian’s Office. 4th April 1855,” [1]; “Contents of the Historian and Recorder’s Office G. S. L. City July 1858,” 2; “Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” [11]–[12], Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.  


These archival records and the physical evidence of archival stickers indicate continuous institutional custody and authenticity.
Note: The journal 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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kept for JS is divided into four physical books. The transcript and annotation here are for the first part of book 2, covering 10 March through 30 April 1843. The transcript and annotation for the entirety of book 1, covering 21 December 1842 through 10 March 1843, are also available on this website. The transcript and annotation for the remainder of book 2 and for books 3 and 4 will be published later.

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