27468

Journal, March–September 1838

one half mile of 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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line,237

The Raglin property near the Caldwell-Daviess county line was approximately seven miles southeast of Waldo Littlefield’s “halfway house.” JS’s cousin George A. Smith later recounted that the preliminary hearing was actually held near Raglin’s property “in a grove about a quarter of a mile from the Caldwell county line.” (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:497; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 110.)  


We all returned this evening to 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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,

7 September 1838 • Friday

Friday the 7th We all met at John Raglin

Ca. 1800–23 June 1886. Teamster, miller, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married first Flora Storm of Missouri, by 1825. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, by June 1830. A pioneer settler in what later became Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1831. Moved to Daviess Co., Missouri...

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s agreeable to adjournment,
We did not know but there would be a distirbance among the mob characters, today,238

This was the appointed day on which the Daviess County Committee of Vigilance had requested citizens of other counties to arrive to take Wight. Years later, Philo Dibble recounted that on JS’s arrival at Raglin’s, a number of people began cursing and threatening him but were warned by General David R. Atchison to behave peacefully. (“Mormons Once More,” Hannibal Commercial Advertiser, 25 Sept. 1838, [1]; Dibble, “Philo Dibble’s Narrative,” 89.)  


we accordingly had an army of men placed at the county line so as to be ready at a minuits warning if there should be any difficulty at the trial,239

A company of Latter-day Saints in the Caldwell County militia hid themselves in the woods at the border during the night before the hearing. (Allred, Reminiscences and Diary, 5; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 110; Foote, Autobiography, 6 and 7 Sept. 1838.)  


the trial commenced

7 Sep. 1838

JS appeared for preliminary hearing with Lyman Wight before Austin A. King on charges arising from confrontation with Adam Black; gave bonds for later court appearance, Honey Creek Township, Daviess County, Missouri.

Mr. Penningston William Peniston

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

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who was the prossecutor had no witnesses but Adam Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

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who contrived to swear a great may things that never had an existace existence untill he swore them and I presume, never entered the heart of any man240

Black’s testimony was probably similar to his affidavit, in which he stated that the Latter-day Saint men who surrounded his home threatened him with instant death if he would not sign their written agreement for him to uphold the law. (“Public Meeting,” Missouri Republican, 8 Sept. 1838, [1], “for the country” edition; Adam Black, Affidavit, Daviess Co., MO, 28 Aug. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


And in fine I think he swore by the Job. (as he was employed so to do by Penningston

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
.)
The witnesses on the part of the defence was Dimick B. Huntington

26 May 1808–1 Feb. 1879. Farmer, blacksmith, shoemaker, constable, coroner, deputy sheriff, Indian interpreter. Born at Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York. Son of William Huntington and Zina Baker. Married Fannie Maria Allen, 28 Apr. 1830. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
, Gideon Carter

1798–25 Oct. 1838. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married first Hilah (Hilda) Burwell, 1822. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, 1831. Baptized into ...

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Adam Lightner

14 Apr. 1810–19 Aug. 1885. Carpenter, merchant, hotelier, farmer. Born at Lancaster, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Adam Lightner and Mary Trout. Married Mary Elizabeth Rollins, 11 Aug. 1835, at Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri. Never member of LDS church...

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& myself

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...

View Full Bio
,241

Huntington, Carter, and George W. Robinson—all Danites—may have supplied eyewitness testimony along the lines of JS’s 5 September 1838 affidavit arguing that Black was not threatened in JS’s presence or to his knowledge. Lightner, married to Latter-day Saint Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, lived in Caldwell County but was not a church member. (Quinn, Origins of Power, 481–483; JS, Affidavit, Caldwell Co., MO, 5 Sept. 1838, JS Collection, CHL; Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, Autobiography, Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 [July 1926]: 198.)  


The Judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
bound Prest Smith & Col. Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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over to court in a five hundred dollar bond,242

JS and Wight were bound over to appear at the next term of the Daviess circuit court on 29 November 1838 to answer a misdemeanor charge.a By that date, the two were in custody on a charge of treason among other charges in connection with the Mormon conflict of October 1838.b In April 1839, a grand jury for the Daviess County circuit court indicted them for riot, a misdemeanor, in connection with the Adam Black confrontation.c The trials on these charges, however, never occurred.  


aState of Missouri, Recognizance of JS and Lyman Wight, Daviess Co., MO, 7 Sept. 1838, private possession, copy in CHL.

bDocument Containing the Correspondence, 158.

cState of Missouri, Indictment of JS and Others for Riot, Daviess Co., MO, Apr. 1839, copy, Boone Co., MO, Circuit Court Records, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia; An Act Concerning Crimes and Their Punishments [20 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], pp. 202, art. 7, sec. 6.

there was no proof against them criminal, but it is suposed he did it to pasify as much as possible the feelings of the mobers. he (the Judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
) stating after in my presence that there was nothing proven against them worthy of bonds,243

Some newspaper reports concluded that Black’s testimony was shown to be either questionable or false. Sterling Price and Edgar Flory, from Chariton County, reported that at the trial Black conceded that JS “may have said that he [Black] would not be forced to sign any [statement]” and that “Smith proves that he assured Mr. Black that he should not be forced to sign any instrument of writing but that he requested it as a favor.” (“Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Republican, 22 Sept. 1838, [2], daily edition; “The Mormon Difficulties,” Niles’ National Register, 13 Oct. 1838, 103.)  


but they submitted without murmering a word, gave the bonds with sufficient securities, and all returned home the same evening, We found two persons in Daviess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

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at the trial, from, which Gentlemen were sent from Charriton Chariton County

Established 16 Nov. 1820. Village of Chariton named county seat, 1820. Keytesville named county seat, 1833. Population in 1830 about 1,800. Population in 1836 about 3,500. In Aug. 1831, while en route from Independence to Kirtland, JS met ten other elders...

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as a committe to enquire into all this matter. as the mobers had sent [p. 80]
one half mile of 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.” ...

More Info
line,237

The Raglin property near the Caldwell-Daviess county line was approximately seven miles southeast of Waldo Littlefield’s “halfway house.” JS’s cousin George A. Smith later recounted that the preliminary hearing was actually held near Raglin’s property “in a grove about a quarter of a mile from the Caldwell county line.” (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:497; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 110.)  


We all  returned this evening to 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...

More Info
,

7 September 1838 • Friday

Friday the 7th  We all met at [John] Raglin

Ca. 1800–23 June 1886. Teamster, miller, farmer. Born in Virginia. Married first Flora Storm of Missouri, by 1825. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, by June 1830. A pioneer settler in what later became Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1831. Moved to Daviess Co., Missouri...

View Full Bio
s agr eeable to adjournment,
We did not know but  there would be a distirbance among the mob  characters, today,238

This was the appointed day on which the Daviess County Committee of Vigilance had requested citizens of other counties to arrive to take Wight. Years later, Philo Dibble recounted that on JS’s arrival at Raglin’s, a number of people began cursing and threatening him but were warned by General David R. Atchison to behave peacefully. (“Mormons Once More,” Hannibal Commercial Advertiser, 25 Sept. 1838, [1]; Dibble, “Philo Dibble’s Narrative,” 89.)  


we accordingly had an army  of men placed at the county line so as to be  ready at a minuits warning if there should  be any difficulty at the trial,239

A company of Latter-day Saints in the Caldwell County militia hid themselves in the woods at the border during the night before the hearing. (Allred, Reminiscences and Diary, 5; George A. Smith, Autobiography, 110; Foote, Autobiography, 6 and 7 Sept. 1838.)  


the trial comme nced

7 Sep. 1838

JS appeared for preliminary hearing with Lyman Wight before Austin A. King on charges arising from confrontation with Adam Black; gave bonds for later court appearance, Honey Creek Township, Daviess County, Missouri.

Mr. Penningston [William Peniston]

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
who was the prossecut or had no witnesses but Adam Black

11 Sept. 1801–14 July 1890. Farmer, sheriff, justice of the peace, judge. Born at Henderson Co., Kentucky. Son of William Black and Jane Wilson. Moved near Booneville, Copper Co., Missouri Territory, and then to Ray Co., Missouri Territory, 1819. Elected ...

View Full Bio
who  contrived to swear a great may things that never  had an existace [existence] untill he swore them and I pr esume, never entered the heart of any man240

Black’s testimony was probably similar to his affidavit, in which he stated that the Latter-day Saint men who surrounded his home threatened him with instant death if he would not sign their written agreement for him to uphold the law. (“Public Meeting,” Missouri Republican, 8 Sept. 1838, [1], “for the country” edition; Adam Black, Affidavit, Daviess Co., MO, 28 Aug. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)  


 And in fine I think he swore by the Job.  (as he was employed so to do by Penningston

Ca. 1811–10 Nov. 1850. Sheriff, military colonel, clerk, hotelier. Born at Jessamine Co., Kentucky. Son of Robert Peniston and Nancy Nuttle. Moved to Ray Co., Missouri, ca. 1831. A founder of Millport, in what became Daviess Co., Missouri, where family built...

View Full Bio
.)
The witnesses on the part of the defence was  Dimick B. Huntington

26 May 1808–1 Feb. 1879. Farmer, blacksmith, shoemaker, constable, coroner, deputy sheriff, Indian interpreter. Born at Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York. Son of William Huntington and Zina Baker. Married Fannie Maria Allen, 28 Apr. 1830. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
, Gideon Carter

1798–25 Oct. 1838. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married first Hilah (Hilda) Burwell, 1822. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, 1831. Baptized into ...

View Full Bio
 Adam Lightner

14 Apr. 1810–19 Aug. 1885. Carpenter, merchant, hotelier, farmer. Born at Lancaster, Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Adam Lightner and Mary Trout. Married Mary Elizabeth Rollins, 11 Aug. 1835, at Liberty, Clay Co., Missouri. Never member of LDS church...

View Full Bio
& myself

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...

View Full Bio
,241

Huntington, Carter, and George W. Robinson—all Danites—may have supplied eyewitness testimony along the lines of JS’s 5 September 1838 affidavit arguing that Black was not threatened in JS’s presence or to his knowledge. Lightner, married to Latter-day Saint Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, lived in Caldwell County but was not a church member. (Quinn, Origins of Power, 481–483; JS, Affidavit, Caldwell Co., MO, 5 Sept. 1838, JS Collection, CHL; Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, Autobiography, Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 17 [July 1926]: 198.)  


The Judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
 bound Prest Smith & Col. [Lyman] Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
over to court  in a five hundred dollar bond,242

JS and Wight were bound over to appear at the next term of the Daviess circuit court on 29 November 1838 to answer a misdemeanor charge.a By that date, the two were in custody on a charge of treason among other charges in connection with the Mormon conflict of October 1838.b In April 1839, a grand jury for the Daviess County circuit court indicted them for riot, a misdemeanor, in connection with the Adam Black confrontation.c The trials on these charges, however, never occurred.  


aState of Missouri, Recognizance of JS and Lyman Wight, Daviess Co., MO, 7 Sept. 1838, private possession, copy in CHL.

bDocument Containing the Correspondence, 158.

cState of Missouri, Indictment of JS and Others for Riot, Daviess Co., MO, Apr. 1839, copy, Boone Co., MO, Circuit Court Records, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, Ellis Library, University of Missouri, Columbia; An Act Concerning Crimes and Their Punishments [20 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], pp. 202, art. 7, sec. 6.

there was  no proof against them criminal, but it is  suposed he did it to pasify as much as possible  the feelings of the mobers. he (the Judge

21 Sept. 1802–22 Apr. 1870. Attorney, judge, politician, farmer. Born at Sullivan Co., Tennessee. Son of Walter King and Nancy Sevier. Married first Nancy Harris Roberts, 13 May 1828, at Jackson, Madison Co., Tennessee. In 1830, moved to Missouri, where he...

View Full Bio
) stating  after in my presence that there was nothing proven  against them worthy of bonds,243

Some newspaper reports concluded that Black’s testimony was shown to be either questionable or false. Sterling Price and Edgar Flory, from Chariton County, reported that at the trial Black conceded that JS “may have said that he [Black] would not be forced to sign any [statement]” and that “Smith proves that he assured Mr. Black that he should not be forced to sign any instrument of writing but that he requested it as a favor.” (“Mormon Difficulties,” Missouri Republican, 22 Sept. 1838, [2], daily edition; “The Mormon Difficulties,” Niles’ National Register, 13 Oct. 1838, 103.)  


but they submitted  without murmering a word, gave the bonds with  sufficient securities, and all returned home the  same evening, We found two persons in Daviess

Area in northwest Missouri settled by European Americans, 1830. Sparsely inhabited until 1838. Created from Ray Co., Dec. 1836, in attempt to resolve conflicts related to Mormon settlement in that region. County is transected diagonally from northwest to ...

More Info
 at the trial, from, which Gentlemen were sent from  Charriton [Chariton] County

Established 16 Nov. 1820. Village of Chariton named county seat, 1820. Keytesville named county seat, 1833. Population in 1830 about 1,800. Population in 1836 about 3,500. In Aug. 1831, while en route from Independence to Kirtland, JS met ten other elders...

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as a committe to enquire  into all this matter. as the mobers had sent [p. 80]
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.  


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.  


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

Facts