26017

History, 1834–1836

prevailing spirit of the times; showing that priestcraft has it’s victims, also in this age, like those in ages past, that would not believe, though one should rise from the dead. This evening he attended a debate at his brother 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...

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’s; The question propounded was as follows.— Was it, or was it not, necessary for God to reveal himself to man to render them happy. He (Joseph) was on the affirmative, and the last one to speak on that side of the question: But while listning [to] the ingenious arguments of the contending parties, he & Eldr. Carrill [John Corrill]

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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(who was his opponent in this debate) was called away to visit the sick, and neither of them had the opportunity of speaking on that occasion.

13 December 1835 • Sunday

Sunday morning 13th. At the usual hour, viz. 10. oclock he attended meeting at the school-house on the flats

Also referred to as “little red schoolhouse.” First frame schoolhouse in township. Built on Kirtland “flats” (lowlands on northern side of community just southwest of Kirtland-Chardon Road), 1819. Served as school for community and location of youth Sunday...

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. Eldr. Jesse Hitchcock

10 Aug. 1801–ca. 1846. Born in Ashe Co., North Carolina. Son of Isaac Hitchcock and Elizabeth Wheeler. Married Mary Polly Hopper, 4 July 1821, at Lafayette Co., Missouri. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder by Oliver Cowdery, 20 July 1831. Located...

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preached a very feeling discourse indeed; in the after noon Eldr. Peter Whitmer [Jr.]

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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related his experiance, after which Pres. 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...

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, related his also; they both spoke of many things connected with the rise and progress of this church of Christ, which were highly interesting and the saints listned with attention. After these servises closed, the sacrament of the Lord’s supper was administered, under the superintendance of Pres. David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, who presided over the meeting during the day. Pres. Joseph (our author) then made some remarks respecting prayer meetings, and our meeting was brought to a close by invoking heavens blessings upon the audiance.
He returned home and ordered his horses saddled and himself, & Scribe

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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rode to Mr. Jennings where he had been envited to solemnize the marriage contract, between Mr. Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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, & Miss. Angeline Works

22 Aug. 1814–8 Apr. 1880. Schoolteacher. Born at Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York. Daughter of Asa Works and Abigail Marks. Sister of Brigham Young’s first wife, Miriam Works Young. Baptized into LDS church, 1835, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Ebenezer...

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. After these ceremonies were concluded we rode to Mr. [Isaac] Mc Withy

1778–4 May 1851. Farmer. Born in New York. Married Hannah Taylor of Vermont. Moved to Covington, Genesee Co., New York, by 1820. Lived at Bennington, Genesee Co., with family of five, 1830. Ordained an elder, 15 Feb. 1833. Lived at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio...

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’s the distance of about 3 miles from town, where he had been solicited to attend and join in marrage Mr. Edwin Webb

Ca. 1813–after 1902. Blacksmith, carpenter. Born at Hanover, Chautauque Co., New York. Son of James Webb and Hannah Griswold. Baptized into LDS church, likely 1834. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before Dec. 1835. Married first Eliza Ann McWethy (McWithey...

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& Miss E A. Mc Withy [Eliza Ann McWethy]

1817–before 1860. Born in New York. Daughter of Isaac McWithy and Hannah Taylor. Married to Edwin Densmore Webb by JS, 13 Dec. 1835, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Moved to Rochester, Peoria Co., Illinois, by June 1840. Lived in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois...

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: The parents and many of the connexions of both parties were present, with a large and respectable company of friends, who were invited as [p. 146]
prevailing spirit of the times; showing that priestcraf[t] has  it’s victims, also in this age, like those in ages past, that  would not believe, though one should rise from the  dead. This evening he attended a debate at his brother  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...

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’s; The question propounded was as follows.—  Was it, or was it not, necessary for God to reveal himself  to man to render them happy. He (Joseph) was on the  affirmative, and the last one to speak on that side of  the question: But while listning [to] the ingenious arguments  of the contending parties, he & Eldr. Carrill [John Corrill]

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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(who was his  opponent in this debate) was called away to visit the  sick, and neither of them had the opportunity of speaking  on that occasion.350

With Corrill, JS again called on Angeline Works. According to the journal, they “went and prayed for and layed hands on her in the name of Jesus Christ, She appeard to be better.”  


13 December 1835 • Sunday

Sunday morning 13th. At the usual hour, viz. 10. oclock he atten ded meeting at the school-house on the flats

Also referred to as “little red schoolhouse.” First frame schoolhouse in township. Built on Kirtland “flats” (lowlands on northern side of community just southwest of Kirtland-Chardon Road), 1819. Served as school for community and location of youth Sunday...

More Info
. Eldr.  Jesse Hitchcock

10 Aug. 1801–ca. 1846. Born in Ashe Co., North Carolina. Son of Isaac Hitchcock and Elizabeth Wheeler. Married Mary Polly Hopper, 4 July 1821, at Lafayette Co., Missouri. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder by Oliver Cowdery, 20 July 1831. Located...

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preached a very feeling discourse  indeed; in the after noon Eldr. Peter Whitmer [Jr.]

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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 related his experiance, after which Pres. F[rederick] G. Willi ams

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...

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, related his also; they both spoke of many  things connected with the rise and progress of  this church of Christ, which were highly interesting  and the saints listned with attention. After these  servises closed, the sacrament of the Lord’s supper  was administered, under the superintendance  of Pres. David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, who presided over the meeting  during the day. Pres. Joseph (our author) then made  some remarks respecting prayer meetings, and  our meeting was brought to a close by invoking  heavens blessings upon the audiance.
He returned home and ordered his horses saddled  and himself, & Scribe

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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rode to br. Mr. Jennings where  he had been envited to solemnize the marriage  contract, between br. Mr. Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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, & sister Miss.  Angeline Works

22 Aug. 1814–8 Apr. 1880. Schoolteacher. Born at Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York. Daughter of Asa Works and Abigail Marks. Sister of Brigham Young’s first wife, Miriam Works Young. Baptized into LDS church, 1835, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Ebenezer...

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.351

The journal continues, “Miss Works had so far recoverd from her illness, that she was able to sit in her easy chair while I pronounced the mariage ceremony.”  


After these ceremonies were concluded  we rode to Mr. [Isaac] Mc Withy

1778–4 May 1851. Farmer. Born in New York. Married Hannah Taylor of Vermont. Moved to Covington, Genesee Co., New York, by 1820. Lived at Bennington, Genesee Co., with family of five, 1830. Ordained an elder, 15 Feb. 1833. Lived at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio...

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’s the distance of about 3 miles  from town, where he had been solicited to attend  and join in marrage Mr. E[dwin] Webb

Ca. 1813–after 1902. Blacksmith, carpenter. Born at Hanover, Chautauque Co., New York. Son of James Webb and Hannah Griswold. Baptized into LDS church, likely 1834. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before Dec. 1835. Married first Eliza Ann McWethy (McWithey...

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& Miss E A. Mc  Withy [Eliza Ann McWethy]

1817–before 1860. Born in New York. Daughter of Isaac McWithy and Hannah Taylor. Married to Edwin Densmore Webb by JS, 13 Dec. 1835, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Moved to Rochester, Peoria Co., Illinois, by June 1840. Lived in Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois...

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: The parents and many of the connexions of  both parties were present, with a large and resp ectable company of friends, who were invited as [p. 146]
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JS’s 1834–1836 history is a composite historical record consisting of genealogical tables, journal-like entries, and transcripts of newspaper articles. It shifts abruptly in format from one unfinished section to the next. The order of handwriting in the history roughly matches that found in the 1835–1836 journal, and like the journal, the history passed from 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...

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to 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...

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to Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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to 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...

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. Finally, it returned to Parrish. The purpose for which the record was created is unclear, as is the rationale for its differing formats. At the beginning, the 1834–1836 history may have had as much to do with Oliver Cowdery, its first scribe, as with JS. Cowdery was serving at the time as scribe for JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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journal. He had transformed that journal into a jointly authored document by writing in the first person plural, making both himself and JS the protagonists. Cowdery made his final entry in the first Ohio journal 5 December 1834, the day he was ordained an assistant president to JS in the general church presidency and placed ahead of JS’s other assistants. He may have begun the 1834–1836 history in response to his new appointment.
The new record was begun in a massive blank book. 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...

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left the first twelve pages blank, possibly for a title page and other introductory material to be written later. He then inscribed columns and headings on the next eight pages to reserve them for the genealogies of the four members of the new church presidency. On the following page, he began an entry dated 5 December 1834, the same date as his last entry in JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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journal.
Just as 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...

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converted JS’s first Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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journal into a JS-Cowdery journal, he may have conceived of the 1834–1836 history as a record for all four members of the church presidency. Cowdery’s entry for 5 December 1834 provided a lengthier and more formal account of his elevation to the church presidency than did JS’s first Ohio journal. Regardless of its purpose, however, the daily log was discontinued after two entries.
The next section of the history, begun months later, is a transcript 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...

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’s series of eight letters on church history published in the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate between October 1834 and October 1835. 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...

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, who began the transcription, may have begun working under Cowdery’s direction, but by 29 October 1835 JS had assumed effective control of the document. JS’s journal entry of that date, which notes his employment of Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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as his scribe, also records that Parrish “commenced writing in my journal a history of my life, concluding President Cowdery 2d letter to W. 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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, which president Williams had begun.”1

JS, Journal, 29 Oct. 1835; see also entry for 29 Oct. 1835 herein. In this case, “my journal” refers to JS’s 1834–1836 history, which JS also called his “large journal.”  


The final section of JS’s history, transcribed by 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...

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and Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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, is a revised version of JS’s daily journal entries from late September 1835 to late January 1836.2 Warren Cowdery explained that the intention was to provide a “faithful narration of every important item in his every-day-occurrences.”3

JS History, 1834–1836, 105.  


The revised entries continue to 18 January 1836. Warren Parrish, the final scribe to write in JS’s 1834–1836 history, may have ceased his work in order to embark on a proselytizing mission. However, the reasons for JS’s discontinuing the history entirely are not known.
Further information about the different sections of the 1834–1836 history may be found in intratextual notes preceding each section.
As noted above, the first section of the history includes initial work to compile genealogical data for each member of the church presidency. In an 1832 letter to church leaders 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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, JS outlined the contents of the church history to be kept by 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...

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. In addition to an account of “all things that transpire in Zion,” JS instructed that the record include the names of those who had formally consecrated their property and received church land. At the second coming of Jesus Christ, he wrote, this record would be used to reward “the Saints whose names are found and the names of their fathers and of their children enroled in the Book of the Law of God.”4

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1, 3.  


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...

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apparently followed this model when he began this new historical record in early December 1834. He reserved the pages at the beginning of the history to record family information for JS, himself, 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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, 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...

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, the four members of the general church presidency as designated on 5 December 1834. Inscribing headings to eight pages, Cowdery intended to prepare two genealogical tables for each of the four presidents, one to identify wife and children and the second to identify parents and siblings. The left column lists births and marriages; the column on the right was reserved for deaths. That Cowdery did not create or even leave room for similar tables for the two assistant presidents appointed on 6 December 1834 suggests that he inscribed both the tables and the entry for 5 December between the 5 and 6 December meetings.

Facts