31371

Minute Book 1

It motioned and voted that Nicholas Singley, Chester S. Judd, Benjamin Mitchel and Abraham Lott be ordained Elders. and that Watson J. Barlow & John Hollester Hollister

12 Oct. 1792–1839. Farmer. Born at Marbletown, Ulster Co., New York. Son of Isaac Hollister and Elizabeth Newcomb. Married Lavina (Vina) Clearwater, ca. 1817. Lived at Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1820–ca. 1835. Moved to Portage Co., Ohio, ca. 1835. Member...

View Full Bio
be ordained Priests.
The above named brethren having been received by vote of those present having a right to vote, were ordained to the several offices for which they were voted, to fill by A. Palmer

15 Sept. 1784–before Sept. 1838. Farmer, tavern keeper, surveyor, glass worker, manufacturer, justice of the peace. Born at Winchester, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Moved to Trumbull Co., Ohio, by 1807. Married Lettis (Lettice) Hawkins of Castleton, Rutland...

View Full Bio
J. B. Bosworth

6 Mar. 1790–16 July 1850. Farmer. Born at Scituate, Providence Co., Rhode Island. Son of Benajah Bosworth. Moved to Burlington, Otsego Co., New York, by 1800. Married Lucina Hopkins, 17 May 1815. Moved to Copley, Medina Co., Ohio, by 1818. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
& Thomas Gordon
Levi Way Clerk. of conference

16 June 1836 • Thursday • First of two entries

High Council met in the Lord’s house

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
in 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...

More Info
June 16th 1836
Present 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...

View Full Bio
& Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
Presidents
Counsellors:
Joseph Coe

12 Nov. 1784–17 Oct. 1854. Farmer, clerk. Born at Cayuga Co., New York. Son of Joel Coe and Huldah Horton. Lived at Scipio, Cayuga Co., by 1800. Married first Pallas Wales, 12 Jan. 1816. Married second Sophia Harwood, ca. 1824. Moved to Macedon, Wayne Co....

View Full Bio
John Smith

16 July 1781–23 May 1854. Farmer. Born at Derryfield (later Manchester), Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Member of Congregational Church. Appointed overseer of highways at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York, 1810. Married...

View Full Bio
Cyrus SmallingJared Carter

14 June 1801–6 July 1849. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Ames, 20 Sept. 1823, at Benson. Moved to Chenango, Broome Co., New York, by Jan...

View Full Bio
Wm. Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

View Full Bio
Henry G. Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

View Full Bio
Noah Packard

7 May 1796–17 Feb. 1860. Farmer, surveyor, miner. Born at Plainfield, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Packard and Molly Hamblin. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1817. Married Sophia Bundy, 29 June 1820, at Parkman. Baptized into LDS church by...

View Full Bio
Joseph Kingsbury

2 May 1812–15 Oct. 1898. Mining superintendent, store clerk, teacher, farmer, ferry operator, tithing storehouse supervisor, Temple Square guide. Born at Enfield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Solomon Kingsbury and Bathsheba Amanda Pease. Moved from Enfield...

View Full Bio
Lyman Sherman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

View Full Bio
John Johnson

14 Apr. 1779–30 July 1843. Farmer, innkeeper. Born at Chesterfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Johnson and Abigail Higgins. Married Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 22 June 1800. Moved to Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont, ca. 1803. Settled at Hiram, Portage...

View Full Bio
Thomas Burdick

17 Nov. 1795/1797–6 Nov. 1877. Farmer, teacher, judge, postmaster, clerk, civil servant. Born at Canajoharie, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Gideon Burdick and Catherine Robertson. Married Anna Higley, 1828, at Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized...

View Full Bio
Josiah Butterfield

13 Mar. 1795–3 Mar. 1871. Farmer, stockman. Born at Dunstable, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Abel Butterfield and Mercy Farnsworth. Married first Polly Moulton, 30 Oct. 1819. Moved to Buxton, York Co., Maine, 1820. Baptized into LDS church by John ...

View Full Bio
Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

View Full Bio
appointed Clerk.
Counsil opened by prayer of President S. 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...

View Full Bio
counsellors were charged according to the Law of God.
The Case of brother Preserved Harris

Ca. 1785–18 Apr. 1867. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married Nancy Warren. One of five to whom JS gave Martin...

View Full Bio
was considered.
Charged by Joseph Smith Junr. with a want of benevolence to the poor and charity to the church. Bishop Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
testifies that he does not know that brother Harris

Ca. 1785–18 Apr. 1867. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married Nancy Warren. One of five to whom JS gave Martin...

View Full Bio
has assisted him in relieving the poor, or in assist in the Church. That he once gave fifty dollars to send to Zion, but thinks he has not been as liberal as others in these matters. Council appointed three to speak on each side. [p. 210]
It motioned and voted that Nicholas Singley, Chester S.  Judd, Benjamin Mitchel and Abraham Lott be  ordained Elders. and that Watson J. Barlow & John  Hollester [Hollister]

12 Oct. 1792–1839. Farmer. Born at Marbletown, Ulster Co., New York. Son of Isaac Hollister and Elizabeth Newcomb. Married Lavina (Vina) Clearwater, ca. 1817. Lived at Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1820–ca. 1835. Moved to Portage Co., Ohio, ca. 1835. Member...

View Full Bio
be ordained Priests.
The above named brethren having been received by vote  of those present having a right to vote, were ordained  to the several offices for which they <were> voted, <to fill> by A. Palmer

15 Sept. 1784–before Sept. 1838. Farmer, tavern keeper, surveyor, glass worker, manufacturer, justice of the peace. Born at Winchester, Litchfield Co., Connecticut. Moved to Trumbull Co., Ohio, by 1807. Married Lettis (Lettice) Hawkins of Castleton, Rutland...

View Full Bio
 J. B. Bosworth

6 Mar. 1790–16 July 1850. Farmer. Born at Scituate, Providence Co., Rhode Island. Son of Benajah Bosworth. Moved to Burlington, Otsego Co., New York, by 1800. Married Lucina Hopkins, 17 May 1815. Moved to Copley, Medina Co., Ohio, by 1818. Baptized into LDS...

View Full Bio
& Thomas Gordon
Levi Way Clerk. of conference

16 June 1836 • Thursday • First of two entries

High Council met in the Lord’s house

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
in 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...

More Info
 June 16th 1836
Present S[idney] 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...

View Full Bio
& F[rederick] G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
Presidents
Counsellors:
Joseph Coe

12 Nov. 1784–17 Oct. 1854. Farmer, clerk. Born at Cayuga Co., New York. Son of Joel Coe and Huldah Horton. Lived at Scipio, Cayuga Co., by 1800. Married first Pallas Wales, 12 Jan. 1816. Married second Sophia Harwood, ca. 1824. Moved to Macedon, Wayne Co....

View Full Bio
John Smith

16 July 1781–23 May 1854. Farmer. Born at Derryfield (later Manchester), Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Member of Congregational Church. Appointed overseer of highways at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York, 1810. Married...

View Full Bio
Cyrus SmallingJared Carter

14 June 1801–6 July 1849. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Ames, 20 Sept. 1823, at Benson. Moved to Chenango, Broome Co., New York, by Jan...

View Full Bio
Wm. Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

View Full Bio
H[enry G.] Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

View Full Bio
Noah Packard

7 May 1796–17 Feb. 1860. Farmer, surveyor, miner. Born at Plainfield, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Noah Packard and Molly Hamblin. Moved to Parkman, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1817. Married Sophia Bundy, 29 June 1820, at Parkman. Baptized into LDS church by...

View Full Bio
Joseph Kingsbury

2 May 1812–15 Oct. 1898. Mining superintendent, store clerk, teacher, farmer, ferry operator, tithing storehouse supervisor, Temple Square guide. Born at Enfield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Solomon Kingsbury and Bathsheba Amanda Pease. Moved from Enfield...

View Full Bio
Lyman Sherman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

View Full Bio
John Johnson

14 Apr. 1779–30 July 1843. Farmer, innkeeper. Born at Chesterfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Johnson and Abigail Higgins. Married Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 22 June 1800. Moved to Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont, ca. 1803. Settled at Hiram, Portage...

View Full Bio
Thomas Burdick

17 Nov. 1795/1797–6 Nov. 1877. Farmer, teacher, judge, postmaster, clerk, civil servant. Born at Canajoharie, Montgomery Co., New York. Son of Gideon Burdick and Catherine Robertson. Married Anna Higley, 1828, at Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized...

View Full Bio
Josiah Butterfield

13 Mar. 1795–3 Mar. 1871. Farmer, stockman. Born at Dunstable, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Abel Butterfield and Mercy Farnsworth. Married first Polly Moulton, 30 Oct. 1819. Moved to Buxton, York Co., Maine, 1820. Baptized into LDS church by John ...

View Full Bio
Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

View Full Bio
appointed Clerk.
Counsil opened by prayer of President S. 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...

View Full Bio
counsellors were charged according to the Law of God.
The Case of brother Preserved Harris

Ca. 1785–18 Apr. 1867. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married Nancy Warren. One of five to whom JS gave Martin...

View Full Bio
was considered.
Charged by Joseph Smith Junr. with a want of benevol ence to the poor and charity to the church. Bishop  N[ewel] K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
testifies that he does not know that brother  Harris

Ca. 1785–18 Apr. 1867. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married Nancy Warren. One of five to whom JS gave Martin...

View Full Bio
has assisted him in relieving the poor, or in assist  in the Church. That he once gave fifty dollars to send  to Zion, but thinks he has not been as liberal as others  in these matters. Council appointed three to speak  on each side. [p. 210]
PreviousNext
On 12 February 1834 JS held a council meeting with high priests and elders at his home in 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...

More Info
, Ohio. To those gathered he observed, “I shall now endeavor to set forth before this council, the dignity of the office which has been conferred upon me by the ministering of the Angel of God, by his own will and by the voice of this church. I have never set before any council in all the order in which a council ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.” Along with other instructions, JS related that “in ancient days, councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained; which has not been observed in this church to the present.” (Minute Book 1, 12 Feb. 1834, 27–29.)
The record of this occasion is one of many found in Minute Book 1, also known as the “Kirtland Council Minute Book” or the “Kirtland High Council Minutes.” This and its companion, Minute Book 2 (also known as the “Far West Record”), are now published as part of the Administrative Records series on the Joseph Smith Papers website. These volumes illuminate many of the principles and practices that ordered early church governance and administration. They illustrate the early Saints’ determination to respond to revelation and divine guidance while simultaneously acknowledging the doctrine of common consent. Furthermore, these records demonstrate JS’s personal endorsement of and participation in a conference or council system of church government.
Entries for various conferences and councils recorded in Minute Book 1 stand as witness to several seminal events in early church history. Among these were the receipt of the revelation known as the “Olive Leaf” in late December 1832 and early January 1833; the organization of the School of the Prophets on 22–23 January 1833; the ordination of 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...

View Full Bio
and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
as presidents of the high priesthood on 18 March 1833; revelations concerning construction of the 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...

More Info
House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
; the organization of the first standing high council in February 1834; church courts held in the aftermath of the Camp of Israel (Zion’s Camp) march in August 1834; the calling, ordination, and blessing of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies in February 1835; the acceptance by the church of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in August of that year; preparation for the dedication of the Kirtland House of the Lord in winter and early spring 1836; and events related to the Kirtland Safety Society, its demise, and the concomitant dissension within the Kirtland stake of Zion in 1837. Some of these minutes, especially those where JS was a participant in the meeting, will also appear with individual introductions in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.
In the texts of the various minute entries, and occasionally in separate entries accompanying them, the register records ordinations, blessings, disciplinary councils, testimonies, Pentecostal outpourings, callings and releases, missionary appointments, and fund-raising activities. Thus, Minute Book 1 provides a rich survey of JS’s interactions with associates and others during many dramatic, and often challenging, episodes beginning in October 1832 and concluding in November 1837. Sixteen different clerks took original minutes that were later copied into the volume by Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
, Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
, Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

View Full Bio
, Marcellus Cowdery, 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
, Phineas Richards

15 Nov. 1788–25 Nov. 1874. Cabinetmaker, joiner, carpenter, botanic physician. Born at Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Served as sergeant major during War of 1812. Married Wealthy Dewey, 24 Feb. 1818. Moved...

View Full Bio
, and Harlow Redfield

25 Sept. 1801–3 Aug. 1866. Farmer. Born at Chestnut Hill, Killingworth Township, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Levi Redfield and Weltha Stevens. Christened member of First Congregational Church, 21 Jan. 1821. Married first Caroline Foster, 1824. Moved...

View Full Bio
.
Minute Book 1 was initiated during a remarkable upsurge in record keeping, beginning with the calling of Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
and later John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
as church historians in 1830 and 1831. Revelations and commandments recorded in Revelation Book 1 were sent 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...

More Info
to be published on the church’s first press in late 1831, and Revelation Book 2 was in use in 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...

More Info
by February 1832. Sometime in 1832, probably between July and September, JS and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
worked together on a brief history of JS’s early visionary experiences. JS purchased the small volume that contains his first journal in November 1832 and began penning entries that same month. That fall another record, containing retained copies of early church correspondence and now designated Letterbook 1, was commenced. In January of the following year, in an epistle recorded in Letterbook 1, JS 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,...

View Full Bio
encouraging him as editor of the church’s first periodical, The Evening and the Morning Star, then printed in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
, Missouri, to set “forth the rise and progress and faith of the church,” that is, to begin publishing items on the history of the church.
This upwelling was quite unusual for the time. As scholar Dean C. Jessee has observed, “So primitive were some aspects of record keeping in nineteenth-century America that much of the early Latter-day Saint experience was a pioneering effort. . . . Although Mormon record keeping was inaugurated by [an] 1830 revelation, details for carrying out that commandment were largely hammered out on the anvil of experience in the years that followed.” (Dean C. Jessee, “The Reliability of Joseph Smith’s History,” Journal of Mormon History 3 [1976]: 27.) Thus, during a brief span in the early 1830s, JS, along with those working under his direction, commenced the systematic collection and recording of critical documents pertaining to church governance and administration. Throughout the remainder of JS’s lifetime minute-taking, revelation-recording, correspondence-copying, journal-keeping, and history-writing activities would remain imperative commitments.

Facts