History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 Addenda

<1842  February 1> Office, 47, Oxford Street, Manchester.
We do not wish to confine the benefit of our emigration plan  to the Saints, but are willing to grant all industrious, honest, and  well disposed persons who may apply to us the same information  and assistance as emigrants to the western States, there being abun dant room for more than a hundred millions of inhabitants

Addenda • 3 February 1842

<" 3> Elder [Wilford] Woodruff took the superintendence of the Printing  <Page 1273> Office, and Elder [John] Taylor the Editorial department of the Times and  Seasons: who commenced by taking an inventory of the establishment  this day.

Addenda • 17 February 1842

<" 17>
Hanley, Stafford Co. Eng.
Feb 17th 1842.
Prest J. Smith, The work in which we are engaged  <Page 1274> rolls on in this land, and in spite of all its enemies,——  —— moves onward in majesty and  power; there are many who devote all their time and talent in  endeavoring to overthrow it; but I discover they can “do nothing  against the truth; but for it.” Many tracts have been published  against us, containing all manner of lies, but in the end good  will be the result. “He that knoweth God, heareth us.” Some of the  tools of Satan are doing more in spreading the truth than we are  able to do; one in particular, a Mr Brindley, is publishing a  periodical shewing the errors and blasphemies of Mormonism,  and in order to do this he publishes many of the revelations of God  given to us; and, through this means, the testimony is visiting  the mansions of the high and mighty ones— the Reverends,  Right Reverends, and all the noble champions of sectarians receive  them as a precious morsel; and they are read with much interest;  whereas, if we had sent them, they would have been spurned from  their dwellings, and would not have been considered worth reading.  The state of this country is very awful, and is, according to prospects  on the eve of a mighty revolution; all confidence is gone between  master and man, and men are afraid of each other, peace is  fast removing from this land; in the course of the last few days,  in many parts of this isle, they have been burning the effigy of <the> great  men of this nation— poverty, distress, and starvation abound  on every hand. The groans, and tears, and wretchedness of the  thousands of the people is enough to rend the hearts of demons;  many of the saints are suffering much through hunger and [p. 59]
On 11 June 1839, while residing at Commerce, Illinois, JS began dictating what his journal simply referred to as his “history.” (An earlier draft was begun by JS and Sidney Rigdon in April 1838, but that draft is no longer extant; see JS, Journal, 27 Apr. 1838.) However, it was not until Willard Richards was appointed as JS’s “private se[c]retary & historian” in December 1842 that substantial progress was made on its compilation (JS, Journal, 11 June 1839; 21 Dec. 1842). Work on this endeavor came to span seventeen years, including frequent stops and starts. The longest lull, of over seven years, was occasioned by the Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo followed by the challenges of settling the Salt Lake Valley. After the death of Willard Richards in 1854, the project was brought to a conclusion in Utah by George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff in 1856. By that time the history had swelled to six volumes and over 2,400 pages. It subsequently came to be known as the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers it bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”).
As part of that enterprise, volume C-1 was begun on or just after 24 February 1845 and its basic narrative was completed on 3 May of that year, although work continued on the volume through that July (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). Thomas Bullock was the scribe for the volume, which contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda, and covers the period 2 November 1838 through 31 July 1842.
On 10 April 1854, less than five weeks after the death of Willard Richards, George A. Smith assumed the role of church historian and with it responsibility for the completion of JS’s history. He subsequently observed in a letter to Wilford Woodruff:
I commenced to perform the duties of Historian by taking up the History of Joseph Smith where Dr. Willard Richards had left it when driven from Nauvoo on the 4th day of February 1846. I had to revise and compare two years of back history which he had compiled, filling up numerous spaces which had been marked as omissions on memoranda by Dr. Richards.
I commenced compiling the history of Joseph Smith from April 1st 1840 to his death on June 27th 1844. I have filled up all the reports of sermons by President Joseph Smith and others from minutes or sketches taken at the time in long hand by Dr. Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, Thomas Bullock, William Clayton, Miss Eliza R. Snow &c. which was an immense labor, requiring the deepest thought and the closest application, as there were mostly only two or three words (about half written) to a sentence.” (George A. Smith, Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to Wilford Woodruff, 21 Apr. 1856, in Historian’s Office, Historical Record Book, 218.)
In October 1854 George. A. Smith and his clerks began compiling a separate, extensive list of addenda to volume C-1. The Church Historian’s office journal entry for 13 October 1854 noted, “TB [Thomas Bullock] engaged on history papers all da[y] found many that will have to be inserted in 40 & 41” (Historian’s Office, Journal, 13 Oct. 1854). Apparently these addenda represented some of the revising and comparing of “two years of back history” with the “filling up numerous spaces” Smith had mentioned in his 1856 letter to Woodruff. In support of that effort, the 19 October 1854 issue of the Deseret News carried the following item that also explained why the serialization of the History of Joseph Smith was being temporarily interrupted:
The History of Joseph Smith is necessarily omitted in this number; and from one to two columns a number will probably be all that can be furnished for some time, as the Historian has come to a period which requires hunting up many facts, and preparing them for embodying, which the hurry of the times obliged Elder Richards to pass over by simply writing on the margin, “note to be supplied” (”History and Sermons,” Deseret News [Salt Lake City], 19 Oct. 1854, [2]).
At that time, Joseph Smith’s history had been reported through October 1840 in the Deseret News.
The addenda to volume C-1 presented here are labeled “Addenda to Book C1. By Geoe. A. Smith. Octr. 18th. 1854.” They are in the handwriting of Jonathan Grimshaw, Leo Hawkins, Robert L. Campbell, and John L. Smith, all of whom worked under the direction of George A. Smith. These addenda provide supplemental material for the period from 19 October 1840 to 15 July 1842 and consist of seventy-five pages copied into a separate ledger that also contains a chronological inventory of material employed in compiling the manuscript history. Many entries from George A. Smith’s “Addenda” were incorporated under their respective dates into the text of the version of Joseph Smith’s history published in the Deseret News, a fair copy identified as C-2, and the later account edited by B. H. Roberts as History of the Church.
Among the significant items included in the addenda to volume C-1 are sermons, editorials, and records of events. Of particular note are entries regarding the October 1840 creation of stakes at Lima, Quincy, and Columbus, Illinois; the January 1841 acknowledgement of the mission of the Twelve to England; the 7 August 1841 death of JS’s brother Don Carlos Smith; JS’s 12 August 1841 meeting with Sac and Fox Indians from Iowa; a November 1841 description of the construction of a temporary wooden font for the performance of baptisms for the dead within the rising Nauvoo temple; the February 1842 appointment of Wilford Woodruff as superintendent of the church printing office, and of John Taylor as head of the Times and Seasons editorial department; and four accounts of JS’s instructions to the Female Relief Society.