27468

Journal, March–September 1838


Editorial Note
On the night of 12 January 1838, JS 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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left Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, on horseback to escape the threat of arrest and violence. They stayed with friends in Norton

Area first settled, 1814. Formed from Wolf Creek Township, 1818. Reported location of “great Mormon excitement,” 1832–1838. Population in 1830 about 650. Primarily populated by immigrants from New England states. Increased German Pennsylvanian immigration...

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, Ohio, until their families arrived. Enemies in pursuit, inclement weather, and lack of provisions complicated the journey. The families sometimes traveled together and sometimes apart until, in eastern Illinois, they separated because of sickness in the larger and more unwieldy Rigdon group, which included scribe George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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.5

Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838; JS History, vol. B-1, 780; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 203–204, 211–212.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

Van Wagoner, Richard S. Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess. Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994.

At the beginning of their journey, JS and 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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wrote to William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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in 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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requesting assistance.6

See Oliver Cowdery, Far West, MO, to Warren Cowdery and Lyman Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, 24 Feb. 1838, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 87–90.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Cowdery, Oliver. Letterbook, 1833–1838. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

In response, the Missouri high council organized wagon teams to meet the families and help them finish their journey.7

Minute Book 2, 24 Feb. 1838.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Minute Book 2 / “The Conference Minutes and Record Book of Christ’s Church of Latter Day Saints,” 1838, 1842, 1844. CHL. Also available at josephsmithpapers.org.

John Barnard

28 Jan. 1804–28 July 1874. Farmer, blacksmith. Born at New Hartford, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ezra Barnard and Diadema Porter. Moved to Ulysses, Tompkins Co., New York, by Aug. 1826. Married Eliza Ann Wycoff, 31 Aug. 1826, at Ulysses. Moved to Barrington...

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met JS and his family at Huntsville

Located in north-central Missouri. Settled in 1820s. Randolph Co. seat. Described in 1837 as having brick courthouse and seven stores, but no church buildings. Members of 1834 Camp of Israel and 1838 Kirtland Camp passed through Huntsville en route to Missouri...

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, Randolph County, Missouri—about one hundred miles from Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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, Missouri—and brought them to Far West in his carriage.8

Historian’s Office, “History of Brigham Young,” 21.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Historian’s Office. “History of Brigham Young.” In Manuscript History of Brigham Young, ca. 1856–1860, vol. 1, pp. 1–104. CHL.

The retrospective opening entry, penned by scribe Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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after his arrival in late March, was apparently dictated by JS.

On the 13th. day of March I9

JS. However, after this retrospective entry, first-person pronouns in this journal generally refer to scribe George W. Robinson.  

 
with my family  and some others arrived within 8 milds [miles] of Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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 and put up at brother Barnerds [John Barnard’s]

28 Jan. 1804–28 July 1874. Farmer, blacksmith. Born at New Hartford, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Ezra Barnard and Diadema Porter. Moved to Ulysses, Tompkins Co., New York, by Aug. 1826. Married Eliza Ann Wycoff, 31 Aug. 1826, at Ulysses. Moved to Barrington...

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to tarry for the  night. Here we ware meet by an escort of brether en from the town who came to make us welcome  to their little Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the focus ...

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.10

These men were Thomas B. Marsh, John Corrill, and Elias Higbee, among others. (Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838.)  

 
On the next day as we  ware about entering the town

14 Mar. 1838

JS arrived at Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri.

Many of the brether en came out to meet us who also withe open  armes welcomed us to their boosoms. We were  immediately received under the hospitable roof of  George W. Harris

1 Apr. 1780–1857. Jeweler. Born at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Harris and Diana (Margaret) Burton. Married first Elizabeth, ca. 1800. Married second Margaret, who died in 1828. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, by 1830. Married...

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who treated us with all kindness  possible. here we refreshed ourselves withe  much sattisfaction after our long and tedious Journey  and the bretheren braught in such necessaries as  we stood in need of for our presant comfort  and necessities.11

This in contrast to being refused lodging during severe weather on the journey. (JS, Journal, 29 Dec. 1842, JS Collection, CHL.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL.

After being here two or three day’s my Brother  Samuel [Smith]

13 Mar. 1808–30 July 1844. Farmer, logger, scribe, builder, tavern operator. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811...

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arrived with his family an[d] shortly after  his arrival while walking with him & cirtain  other bretheren the following sentements occured to  my mind.—
Motto of the Church of Christ of  Latterday Saints

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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.12

JS’s 29 March 1838 letter to the Kirtland stake presidency expressly mentions that the motto was already copied into the present journal and also that George W. Robinson arrived in Far West the previous day. As Robinson was a signatory to the motto, and as all of the motto’s signatures appear in the journal in Robinson’s handwriting, the motto was apparently both originally committed to writing and copied into the Scriptory Book on 28 or 29 March 1838. (See Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL.

The Constitution of our country formed by the  Fathers of Liberty.
Peace and good order in society Love to God and  good will to man.
All good and wholesome Law’s; And virtue and truth  above all things
And Aristarchy13

“A body of good men in power, or government by excellent men.” (“Aristarchy,” in American Dictionary, 51.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

An American Dictionary of the English Language; Exhibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation, and Definitions of Words. Edited by Noah Webster. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1845.

live forever!!!
But Wo to tyrants, Mobs, Aristocracy, Anarchy  and Toryism:14

JS’s sentiments are best understood in light of the brutal expulsion of the Latter-day Saints from Jackson County in 1833 and internal and external conflicts at Kirtland. After JS and Sidney Rigdon were attacked by a mob in Hiram, Ohio, in 1832, JS and other Saints in northeastern Ohio were confronted with numerous threats and some actual instances of mobbing and other violence.a Wording in the motto was also echoed in JS’s letter of 29 March 1838 identifying JS’s former scribe Warren Parrish and associated Kirtland dissenters as “Aristocrats or Anarchys.”b Parrish’s group had held meetings to renounce what they considered JS’s superstitious doctrine, and for months they had attempted to control meetings in the House of the Lord, even resorting to violence.c Usage of Tory or Toryism in this context refers to what might be called “resident enemy sympathizers.”d Sampson Avard later testified that in October 1838, during the Mormon conflict in Missouri, JS stated that Saints in Caldwell County who “did not take arms in defence of the Mormons of Davi[es]s should be considered as tories, and should take their exit from the county.”e
Comprehensive Works Cited

 


aParkin, “Conflict at Kirtland,” 248–263; Adams, “Grandison Newell’s Obsession” 170–172, 177–180.

bSee Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838.

cParkin, “Conflict at Kirtland,” 246–265.

d“Tory,” also “Toryism,” in American Dictionary, 846.

eSampson Avard, Testimony, Richmond, MO, Nov. 1838, in State of Missouri, “Evidence”

 

Parkin, Max H. “Conflict at Kirtland: A Study of the Nature and Causes of External and Internal Conflict of the Mormons in Ohio between 1830 and 1838.” Master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1966.

Adams, Dale W. “Grandison Newell’s Obsession.” Journal of Mormon History 30 (Spring 2004): 159–188.

An American Dictionary of the English Language; Exhibiting the Origin, Orthography, Pronunciation, and Definitions of Words. Edited by Noah Webster. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1845.

Missouri, State of. “Evidence.” Hearing Record, Richmond, MO, 12–29 Nov. 1838, State of Missouri v. Joseph Smith et al. for Treason and Other Crimes (Mo. 5th Cir. Ct. 1838). Eugene Morrow Violette Collection, 1806–1921, Western Historical Manuscript Collection. University of Missouri and State Historical Society of Missouri, Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia.

And all those who invent or  seek out unrighteous and vexatious lawsuits  under the pretext or color of law or office, either  religious or political.15

Eber Howe, editor of the Painesville Telegraph, later recounted, “Many of our citizens thought it advisable to take all the legal means within their reach to counteract the progress of so dangerous an enemy in their midst, and many law suits ensued.”a A campaign of legal harassment against JS had been waged under the direction of Mentor, Ohio, businessman Grandison Newell.b
Comprehensive Works Cited

 


aHowe, Autobiography and Recollections, 45.

bAdams, “Grandison Newell’s Obsession”; Backman, Heavens Resound, 321–323; for impact of this on JS, see Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838.

 

Howe, Eber D. Autobiography and Recollections of a Pioneer Printer: Together with Sketches of the War of 1812 on the Niagara Frontier. Painesville, OH: Telegraph Steam Printing House, 1878.

Adams, Dale W. “Grandison Newell’s Obsession.” Journal of Mormon History 30 (Spring 2004): 159–188.

Backman, Milton V., Jr. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983.

Exalt the standard of Democracy! Down [p. 16]
PreviousNext
JS, “The Scriptory Book—of Joseph Smith Jr.—President of The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latterday Saints In all the World,” Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838; handwriting of George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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and 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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; sixty-nine pages; in “General,” Record Book, 1838, verso of Patriarchal Blessings, vol. 5, CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
JS’s “Scriptory Book” is recorded on pages 15 to 83 of a large record book entitled “General” that also includes a list of church members in Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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, Missouri (pages 2–14), a copy of JS’s 16 December 1838 letter from the jail in Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Missouri (pages 101–108), and an aborted record partially entitled “Recor” in unidentified handwriting (page 110). The book, which measures 13 x 8¼ x 1¾ inches (33 x 21 x 4 cm), has 182 leaves of ledger paper sized 12½ x 7¾ inches (32 x 20 cm) with thirty-seven lines in blue ink per page. There are eighteen gatherings of various sizes, each of about a dozen leaves. The text block is sewn all along over three vellum tapes. The heavy pink endpapers each consist of a pastedown and two flyleaves pasted together. The text block edges are stained green. The volume has a hardbound ledger-style binding with a hollow-back spine and glued-on blue-striped cloth headbands. It is bound in brown split-calfskin leather with blind-tooled decoration around the outside border and along the turned-in edges of the leather on the inside covers. At some point the letter “G” was hand printed in ink on the front cover. The original leather cover over the spine—which appears to have been intentionally removed—may have borne a title or filing notation.
The journal is inscribed in black ink that later turned brown and is almost entirely in the handwriting of George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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. 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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’s handwriting appears in a copy of the 23 July 1837 revelation for Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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(D&C 112) on pages 72–74. Running heads added by Robinson throughout the journal indicate the months of the entries on the page. The volume was later used 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, as a source for JS’s multivolume manuscript history of the church. During the preparation of the history, redactions and use marks were made in graphite pencil. Redactions in graphite and ink may have been made at other times as well. In 1845, the book was turned over so that the back cover became the front and the last page became the first. This side of the book was used to record patriarchal blessings. The original spine may have been removed at this time. The spine is now labeled with a number “5”, designating its volume number in a series of books of patriarchal blessings.
The volume is listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records, indicating continuous custody.1

Historian’s Office, “Schedule of Church Records”; “Historian’s Office Catalogue,” [2]; Historian’s Office, “Index of Records and Journals,” [12], Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, microfilm, JS Collection, CHL.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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

Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL.

At some point, the leaf containing pages 54 and 55 was torn from the journal. This removed leaf—which is transcribed herein and contains, among other writings, the earliest extant text of an 8 July 1838 revelation for the Quorum of the Twelve (D&C 118)—was for a time kept in Revelation Book 2.2

Best, “Register of the Revelations Collection,” 19.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Best, Christy. “Register of the Revelations Collection in the Church Archives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” July 1983. CHL.

It is now part of the Revelations Collection at the Church History Library.

Facts