27468

Journal, March–September 1838

highly exasperated toward him, he further stated that the Laws of our Country gave him this privilege, the sheriff did not serve his writ upon hearing this, and said he would go to Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
and see Judge [Austin A.] King

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
upon the subject, Prest. Smith told him he would remain at home untill he should return. etc. The sheriff accordingly returned and found Prest. Smith at home where he had been during his absence The sheriff informed him very gravely that he (Prest Smith) was out of his jurisdiction and that he (Said Sheriff) could not act in this 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
he therefore returned as tight [light] as he came

20–21 August 1838 • Monday–Tuesday

20th This day the inhabitants of the different parts of the Town

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
or 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
met to organize themselves into companies called agricultural Companies

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

View Glossary
, the presidency

Organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and various groups of Latter-day Saints. A November 1831 revelation underscored the importance of a president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
were there and took a part in the same, one Company was established called the western agricultural com-pany who voted to take in one field for grain containing twelve sections which is seven thousands Six hundred & eighty acres of land Another Company was organised Called the eastern agricultural Company the number of acres is not yet asertained, the next day another Company was organised Called the southern Agri. Comp-y field to be as large as the first one,

22 August 1838 • Wednesday

22nd. This day was spent part of the time in counciling with several bretheren upon different subjects, Bretheren continue to gather

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
into 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 ...

View Glossary
daily

23 August 1838 • Thursday

23rd. This day was spent in such municipal labors as they saw was necessary, in this place

24–30 August 1838 • Friday–Thursday

Friday the 24th This day was spent at home by the first Presidency

The presiding body of the church. From the day of the church’s organization on 6 April 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery led the church in their capacity as elders. An 11 November 1831 revelation directed that “the duty of the president of the office of the high...

View Glossary
as also was the 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30,th [p. 71]
highly exasperated toward him, he further  stated that the Laws of our Country gave him  this privilege, the sheriff did not serve his  writ upon hearing this, and said he would go  to Richmond

Area settled, ca. 1814. Officially platted as Ray Co. seat, 1827. Population in 1840 about 500. Seat of Fifth Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri; also location of courthouse and jails. JS and about sixty other Mormon men were incarcerated here while awaiting...

More Info
and see Judge [Austin A.] King

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
upon the  subject,200

Missouri law allowed change of venue for cases in which “the minds of the inhabitants of the county in which the cause is pending are so prejudiced against the defendant that a fair trial cannot be had therein.” Newly appointed to his office, Sheriff Morgan was apparently unaware that this provision had no bearing on the place of arrest and could be applied only after an indictment. According to Sidney Rigdon, Morgan said he intended to ask King if the warrant could be “so altered as to have his trial in this county.” Months later, after being indicted in April 1839, JS successfully sought a change of venue. (An Act to Regulate Proceedings in Criminal Cases [21 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], pp. 486–487, art. 5, sec. 16; History of Daviess County, 243; Sidney Rigdon, Far West, MO, to Sterling Price, 8 Sept. 1838, draft, CHL; Daviess Co., MO, Circuit Court Record, Apr. 1839, bk. A, 67–68, Daviess Co. Circuit Court, Gallatin, MO.)  


Prest. Smith told him he would remain  at home untill he should return. etc. The sheriff  accordingly returned and found Prest. Smith at  home where he had been during his absence  The sheriff informed him very gravely that he  (Prest Smith) was out of his jurisdiction and that  he (Said Sheriff) could not act in this 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
 he therefore returned as tight [light?] as he came201

A sheriff’s jurisdiction extended only to the borders of his own county. However, Morgan could have worked through a local magistrate to serve JS’s warrant. While King reportedly informed Sheriff Morgan of these facts, Morgan chose not to involve Caldwell County authorities when he returned to Far West, but rather informed JS—in effect—that he (Morgan) would not pursue the matter further at that time. (Practice and Proceedings in Criminal Cases [21 Mar. 1835], Revised Statutes of the State of Missouri [1835], p. 475, art. 2, secs. 4–5; S. Rigdon to S. Price, 8 Sept. 1838.)  


20–21 August 1838 • Monday–Tuesday

20th This day the inhabitants of the different  parts of the Town

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
or 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
met to organize  themselves into companies called agricultural  Companies

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

View Glossary
, the presidency

Organized body of leaders over priesthood quorums and various groups of Latter-day Saints. A November 1831 revelation underscored the importance of a president over the high priesthood and the church as a whole. By 1832, JS and two counselors constituted ...

View Glossary
were there and took  a part in the same, one Company was estab lished called the western agricultural com-[pan]y  who voted to take in one field for grain  containing twelve sections which is seven  thousands Six hundred & eighty acres of land  Another Company was organised Called the  eastern agricultural Company the number  of acres is not yet asertained, the next day another  Company was organised Called the southern Agri.  Comp-y field to be as large as the first one,202

Reed Peck later recounted that four firms were organized and that a new revelation was presented requiring all church members to join one of the firms, to which they would consecrate all of their land and property. John Corrill’s more evenhanded account held that the new plan was an opportunity whereby “every male member of the Church could become a member of the firm,” that the land was to be leased “for a term of years,” and that in the distribution of profit, “more regard was to be paid towards the needs and wants of the members, than to the amount of the stock put in.” Corrill also recounted that “Smith said every man must act his own feelings, whether to join or not,” though Sampson Avard vigorously promoted recruitment. (Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839, pp. 51–53, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; Corrill, Brief History, 46.)  


22 August 1838 • Wednesday

22nd. This day was spent part of the time in coun ciling with several bretheren upon different  subjects,203

Latter-day Saint Warren Foote recorded, “Today the report is that the troops have been called out against the Mormons, and having a permit from the Governor they were going to take ‘Joe Smith,’ and Sidney Rigdon, but they had run away.” (Foote, Autobiography, 22 Aug. 1838.)  


Bretheren continue to gather

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
into  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 ...

View Glossary
daily204

Less than a month later, JS and Sidney Rigdon wrote, “There are thousands gathering this season The road is full companies of frequently 10, 20 & 30 wagons arrives, some almost daily . . . the road is litterly lined with wagons between here and Ohio.” (JS and Sidney Rigdon, Far West, MO, to Stephen Post, Bloomfield, PA, 17 Sept. 1838, Stephen Post, Papers, CHL.)  


23 August 1838 • Thursday

23rd. This day was spent in such municipal  labors as they saw was necessary, in this place

24–30 August 1838 • Friday–Thursday

Friday the 24th 205

TEXT: This dateline was written in the same ink as the previous entry. The following line is in a different ink and matches the 31 August entry that George W. Robinson penned after James Mulholland’s interlude as scribe for this journal. It appears then that Robinson wrote this line on or shortly after 31 August.  


This day was spent at home by the  first Presidency

The presiding body of the church. From the day of the church’s organization on 6 April 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery led the church in their capacity as elders. An 11 November 1831 revelation directed that “the duty of the president of the office of the high...

View Glossary
as also was the 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30,th206

George W. Robinson may have been unable to record more detailed information from these dates because the journal was likely in the possession of James Mulholland, who inscribed the revelation to Marsh that follows. During these days, rumors about the Latter-day Saints’ actions in Daviess County were quickly spreading into neighboring counties. (LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 67–71; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 114–117.)  


[p. 71]
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...

View Full Bio
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 ...

View Full Bio
; 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.” ...

More Info
, 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...

More Info
, 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...

View Full Bio
. 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 ...

View Full Bio
’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 ...

View Full Bio
(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...

More Info
, 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