26013

Journal, December 1841–December 1842

[page 32, donation records dated 17–20 December 1841]

11, 13 December 1841 • Saturday, Monday

December 11th. Late this evening. Joseph, the prophet. and trustee in trust for the Temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
,15

On 30 January 1841, JS was elected sole trustee-in-trust for the church in compliance with Illinois law.  

 
 Commanded Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

View Full Bio
. President of the twelve, while sitting in the  New store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

More Info
, to go immediately and instruct the building committee16

That is, the committee appointed to oversee construction of the Nauvoo temple.  

 
in  their duty, & forbid their receiving any more property for the building of the Temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
 Until they received it of himself. and if they committee did not give heed to  the instruction, and attend to their duty to put them in the way so to do:17

Young and the Quorum of the Twelve signed an open letter to the members of the church on 13 December 1841 mandating that all donations to the temple be presented to JS as trustee for the church and recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord. (Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:625–627.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

And on monday Morning, Decr. 13th., Brigham

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

View Full Bio
delivered the above  Message. to Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
. and Elias Higby [Higbee]

23 Oct. 1795–8 June 1843. Clerk, judge, surveyor. Born at Galloway, Gloucester Co., New Jersey. Son of Isaac Higbee and Sophia Somers. Moved to Clermont Co., Ohio, 1803. Married Sarah Elizabeth Ward, 10 Sept. 1818, in Tate Township, Clermont Co. Lived at ...

View Full Bio
. while in the committee House. in  presence of Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

View Full Bio
. Willford [Wilford] Woodruff

1 Mar. 1807–2 Sept. 1898. Farmer, miller. Born at Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Aphek Woodruff and Beulah Thompson. Moved to Richland, Oswego Co., New York, 1832. Baptized into LDS church by Zera Pulsipher, 31 Dec. 1833, near Richland. Ordained...

View Full Bio
. and Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
.

13 December 1841 • Monday • Second of Two Entries

1841. Decr. 21st. <13th.> Some time in the fall of 1839. Daniel S. Witter, of the Steam Mill at  Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
, solicited the First Presidency of the church to make a settlement on  the school section, No 10 16, 1 mile south of Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
: and the solicitations  were continued by D. S. Witter. Mark Aldrich

22 Jan. 1802–21 Sept. 1873. Furrier, postmaster, land developer, merchant, politician. Born in Washington Co. (later in Warren Co.), New York. Son of Artemas Aldrich and Huldah Chamberlain. Moved to Hadley Township, Saratoga Co., New York, by Aug. 1810. Moved...

View Full Bio
& others, from time to time,  Till the spring or summer of 1841. when articles of Agreement were entered  into between Calvin A. Warren

3 June 1807–22 Feb. 1881. Lawyer. Born in Elizabethtown, Essex Co., New York. Lived at Hamilton Co., Ohio, 1832. Moved to Batavia, Clermont Co., Ohio, by 1835. Married first Viola A. Morris, 25 May 1835, at Batavia. Moved to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1836...

View Full Bio
. Esqr. Witter, Aldrich

22 Jan. 1802–21 Sept. 1873. Furrier, postmaster, land developer, merchant, politician. Born in Washington Co. (later in Warren Co.), New York. Son of Artemas Aldrich and Huldah Chamberlain. Moved to Hadley Township, Saratoga Co., New York, by Aug. 1810. Moved...

View Full Bio
& others, owners of the school  Section;18

The Land Ordinance of 1785 specified that land in the United States be surveyed into townships of six miles square. Each township was further surveyed into thirty-six one-mile-square sections, one of which was designated the “school section.” Proceeds from the sale of the school section were to be used to fund public schools within the township. Warren, Aldrich, Witter, and others contracted to purchase the Warsaw Township school section in 1836 for some $17,000, at an annual interest rate of twelve percent of the purchase price. (“Our Town and County,” Western World (Warsaw, IL), 13 May 1840, [2]; Gregg, History of Hancock County, Illinois, 637–638.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Western World. Warsaw, IL. 1840–1841.

Gregg, Thomas. History of Hancock County, Illinois, Together with an Outline History of the State, and a Digest of State Laws. Chicago: Charles C. Chapman, 1880.

and the First Presidency; giving the saints the privilege of settling on  the school. section, which had been surveyed & laid out in town Lots. & called.—  Warren

Platted on school section number 16, one mile south of Warsaw, summer 1841. Quorum of Twelve wrote epistle to Saints, 26 Aug. 1841, inviting immigrants to settle in Warren. Willard Richards moved to Warsaw and sold lots in Warren, Sept. 1841. Joseph Fielding...

More Info
, on certain conditions; and willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
went to Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
on the 8th.  of September. and spent several weeks to prepare for the receptions of Emigrants;19

An epistle of the Quorum of the Twelve notified British Saints of the prospects for settlement at Warren, saying: “The church has commenced a new city 20 miles below this [Nauvoo], and 1 mile below Warsaw, called, Warren, where many city lots, and farms in the vicinity, can be had on reasonable terms; and it will be wisdom for many of the brethren to stop at that place, for the opportunity for erecting temporary buildings will be greater than at this place, also the chance for providing food, will be superior, to those who wish to labor for it.” (Brigham Young et al., “An Epistle of the Twelve,” Times and Seasons, 15 Nov. 1841, 3:602; see also Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 31 Aug. 1841.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Minutes, 1840–1844. CHL.

 in the mean time the inhabitants of Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
. attempted to form an Anti-Mormon  Society. & were much enraged because that Esquire [Jacob] Davis

16 Sept. 1820–25 Dec. 1883. Lawyer, farmer, politician. Born near Staunton, Augusta Co., Virginia. Son of William C. Davis and Sarah (Sallie) Van Lear. Lived at Augusta Co., 1830. Moved to Warsaw, Hancock Co., Illinois, by 1838. Served as Illinois circuit...

View Full Bio
, (who had spoken favorably  of the Saints) was appointed clerk of the county by Judge Douglass [Stephen A. Douglas]

23 Apr. 1813–3 June 1861. Lawyer, politician. Born at Brandon, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Stephen Arnold Douglass and Sarah Fisk. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Moved to Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois, 1833. Served as attorney general of Illinois...

View Full Bio
. In  Novr. about 200 saints arrived at Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
, from England, led by Joseph Fielding

26 Mar. 1797–19 Dec. 1863. Farmer. Born at Honeydon, Bedfordshire, England. Son of John Fielding and Rachel Ibbotson. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1832. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, 21 May 1836, in Black Creek, Charleton Settlement (near Toronto...

View Full Bio
,  and were visited on the 24[th] of Novr. by Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
& [John] Taylor

1 Nov. 1808–25 July 1887. Preacher, editor, publisher, politician. Born at Milnthorpe, Westmoreland Co., England. Son of James Taylor and Agnes Taylor, members of Church of England. Around age sixteen, joined Methodists and was local preacher. Migrated from...

View Full Bio
, of the Quorum of the twelve, &  counselled To Tarry at Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
. according to the instruction of the first Presidency,
December 13[th]. Isaac Decker

29 Dec. 1799–14 June 1873. Farmer, carpenter. Born in Columbia Co., New York. Son of Peter Decker and Hanna Snooks. Moved to Phelps, Ontario Co., New York, by Aug. 1820. Married first Harriet Page Wheeler, 1820, in Phelps. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co...

View Full Bio
. Presiding Elder at Wa[r]saw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
. stated to the Presidency at  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
. that Mr Witter had risen $1. per barrel on flour. and sold the sweepings  of his Mill to the Saints at $2.25 per cwt; and that Witter & Aldrich

22 Jan. 1802–21 Sept. 1873. Furrier, postmaster, land developer, merchant, politician. Born in Washington Co. (later in Warren Co.), New York. Son of Artemas Aldrich and Huldah Chamberlain. Moved to Hadley Township, Saratoga Co., New York, by Aug. 1810. Moved...

View Full Bio
 had forbid the brethren the priviledge of getting the old wood on the school  section, which they had full liberty to get; that the price of wood on the  wharf had fallen, 25 cents per cord since the arrival of the Saints; that  the citizens had risen on their rents; &c, and the First Presidency  decided that that the saints should remove from Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
To 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
 immediately, & that the proceedings at Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
be published in the  Times & Seasons.—20

In spite of the First Presidency’s instructions, no notice of the proceedings at Warsaw was ever published in the Times and Seasons. That same day, however, Richards directed Decker to “remove the Saints from warsaw.” (JS, Journal, 30–31 Dec. 1841; Richards, Journal, 13 Dec. 1841.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Richards, Willard. Journal, Apr. 1841–Jan. 1842. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL.

[7 lines blank] [p. 33]
PreviousNext
Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

View Full Bio
, Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

View Full Bio
, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

View Full Bio
recorded JS’s journal entries from 13 December 1841 through 20 December 1842 in a large leather-bound blank book. The book was first used by church recorder Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

View Full Bio
to copy revelations. Between January 1841 and his death on 27 August the same year, Thompson recorded nine of JS’s revelations, beginning with the 19 January 1841 revelation commanding the building of the 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, temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
and a boardinghouse called the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

More Info
. On 11 December 1841, following his election as “sole Trustee in Trust for the Church” earlier in the year, JS instructed that all donations for building the Nauvoo temple be received directly through his office rather than through the committee overseeing construction of the temple. Two days later, he appointed Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as recorder for the temple and as his personal scribe. Richards then became custodian of the book Thompson had used for recording revelations, and Richards apparently began recording journal entries and tithing donations in some manner on that same day. However, the quality of inscription for the journal entries in the book suggests that they are copies of previously inscribed notes, and if Richards began making such notes in mid-December it is less certain when he began copying them into the book.1

One of Richards’s entries records that he was ill “& did not take notes.” Other entries, such as those dictated by JS to William Clayton while in hiding, are clearly copies of previously inscribed notes. (JS, Journal, 17 June 1842; 16 and 23 Aug. 1842.)  

 
The book apparently was kept in the “counting room” on the lower floor of JS’s red brick store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

More Info
on Water Street, where Richards received and entered donations and also inscribed JS’s journal.2

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 16; Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL.

Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

Journal entries and donations were kept concurrently in the book, alternating sometimes every other page and chronologically leapfrogging each other. This pattern was especially pronounced near the beginning of the book, where donations and journal entries occasionally appear together on a single page. Over time, however, larger and larger blocks of text were dedicated to either donations or journal entries until eventually, in December 1842, the journal was transferred to another book. This slow separation or disentanglement of the journal and donation records—the reasons for which are unclear—was completed long before the volume was filled; indeed, only 90 of the volume’s 478 pages include journal entries, and all of these are within the first 215 pages. In several places it is clear that lists of donations were recorded earlier than were the journal entries found on preceding pages; that is, Richards and William Clayton—who was assigned to assist in the recorder’s office 10 February 1842—left several pages blank between lists of donations and then later filled in those pages with journal entries.3

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18; Clayton, Journal, 10 Feb. 1843.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL.

Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.

This practice sometimes left the scribes with insufficient space to finish a journal entry before running into the list of donations, requiring them to continue the entry several pages later.4

For example, the donation records on pages 136–163 were evidently inscribed before the 16 August 1842 journal entry, which begins on page 135 and is continued on page 164.  

 
The interspersing of journal entries with pages of donation records, as well as JS’s conscious efforts to record the names of people who helped him, suggests that the volume as a whole was understood in terms of an 1832 revelation that “a hystory and a general church record” must be kept “of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties . . . and also there manner of life and the[ir] faith and works.” This record was to be kept in a book called “the book of the Law of God”—a book whose name parallels that of “the book of the law of the Lord” mentioned in the Old Testament.5

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1–2 [D&C 85:1–2, 5]; 2 Chronicles 17:9; 34:14; Nehemiah 9:3.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JS Letterbook 1 / Smith, Joseph. “Letter Book A,” 1832–1835. Joseph Smith Collection. CHL.

Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
continued the pagination of Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

View Full Bio
’s revelation transcripts and, at some point in time, the title “The Book of the Law of the Lord” was inscribed in the front of the book Richards was filling with journal entries and donation records. That the revelation transcripts, donation records, and journal entries appear under the same title and pagination suggests the book’s creators understood its title to comprehend all of its parts.
During the first few months of keeping JS’s journal, Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
included events that occurred before his appointment as JS’s scribe and temple recorder as well as current journal entries. For example, in his 13 December 1841 entry on deteriorating conditions in Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

More Info
, Illinois, Richards explained what led church members to settle there in the first place. At times these retrospective entries eclipse the events of the day on which they were written and have no apparent connection to surrounding entries. The entries for 17 and 29 December 1841, for example, relate to Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

View Full Bio
’s July 1841 arrival at 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
following his mission to England and to the October 1841 laying of the cornerstone for the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

More Info
, respectively, but they record nothing about the events of 17 and 29 December. Multiple entries for individual days, sometimes separated by several pages, add to the complexity of the first part of the journal and also suggest that Richards wrote retrospectively at least part of the time. Only after Richards moved into the Smith home in mid-January 1842 and was able to more closely observe JS’s actions did the entries become more regular, and even then multiple entries occasionally occurred. Immediately preceding the entry for 15 January 1842, the header “Journal of President Joseph” appears—showing that by the time he moved into JS’s home, Richards considered the daily entries he was keeping as journal entries.6

See also the entry for 29 June 1842, in which Richards transferred “this Journal” to his assistant William Clayton.  

 
Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
kept JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 29 June 1842, shortly after which he left for Richmond, Massachusetts, to bring his family to 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
. Among the numerous topics addressed in Richards’s entries are problems relating to the purchase of land in the Nauvoo area, the organization of the Female Relief Society, and the developing rift between JS and two of his close associates, John C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

View Full Bio
and 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
. When Richards left for Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

More Info
, he transferred the book—and therefore JS’s journal—to his assistant, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

View Full Bio
, to keep during his absence. Two months later, in early September, Clayton was appointed temple recorder, officially replacing Richards as custodian of the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of Clayton’s entries include accounts of JS’s activities during the day as well as his activities later in the evening. In some of these entries, the record of the evening events is inscribed in an ink that differs from the ink he used to record JS’s activities earlier in the day yet matches that of the following day’s entry. This indicates that he was probably writing in the book about some events the very day they occurred.7

Pages 207–209, for example, contain such inscriptions. Willard Richards’s entry for 10 March 1842 also indicates contemporaneous inscription.  

 
Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

View Full Bio
’s first entry (30 June 1842) retrospectively records three events dealing with the Nauvoo temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
—the dedication of the baptismal font on 8 November 1841, a miraculous healing in the waters of the font in February 1842, and a deposit made in the cornerstone on 25 September 1841. JS may have directed the inclusion of this material after having “heard the Recorder [Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
] Read in the Law of the Lord” the day before;8

JS, Journal, 29 June 1842.  

 
alternatively, Clayton may have recorded it on his own in his role as assistant temple recorder. Either way, its inclusion clearly demonstrates the desire to include information about the temple in the record. The Book of the Law of the Lord was to be kept in the temple when it was completed.9

Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

View Full Bio
had kept JS’s journal for little more than a month when, on 8 August 1842, JS was arrested as part of an effort to extradite him 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 stand trial for alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

View Full Bio
.10

JS, Journal, 8 Aug. 1842.  

 
JS’s subsequent efforts to avoid extradition to Missouri were attended by a flurry of letter writing among JS, his associates, and Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

More Info
governor Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

View Full Bio
. Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

View Full Bio
, a private teacher living in the Smith home, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

View Full Bio
, who also had clerical skills, assisted Clayton in copying these and other letters into the journal. Among other things, this correspondence provides valuable insight into the thoughts and character of several of 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
’s leading citizens. Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

View Full Bio
’s articulate and thoughtful letters to Carlin, for example, in which she argued against the legality of Boggs’s affidavit and the entire extradition proceedings, reveal a woman of ability and resourcefulness. Two of JS’s letters written to members of the church during this period provided important instructions regarding proxy baptisms for deceased persons and record keeping. Clayton and Snow also copied into the journal three of the early letters in a lengthy series between JS and his New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

More Info
correspondent James Arlington Bennet

21 Dec. 1788–25 Dec. 1863. Attorney, newspaper publisher, educator, author. Born in New York. Married first Sophia, ca. 1811. Served as third and later second lieutenant in First U.S. Artillery, 1 Aug. 1813–14 Oct. 1814. Published American System of Practical...

View Full Bio
.
JS spent much of the last five months of 1842 in hiding to avoid arrest and extradition 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
. Periods of enforced solitude gave him time for sustained reflection and opportunity to commit his thoughts to paper. Lengthy recitations of the names and deeds of his loyal friends, and explicit references to his desire to have them recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord are unique features of this part of his journal and contribute—like the lists of donations for the temple—to the unusual character of the book as a whole.
Although Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
returned to 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
with his family on 30 October 1842, Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

View Full Bio
continued keeping JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 20 December of that year. Clayton’s entries end with a recital of his, Richards’s, and several other men’s efforts in Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

More Info
, Illinois, to resolve a bankruptcy case involving JS. While there, they also counseled with Judge Stephen A. Douglas

23 Apr. 1813–3 June 1861. Lawyer, politician. Born at Brandon, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Stephen Arnold Douglass and Sarah Fisk. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Moved to Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois, 1833. Served as attorney general of Illinois...

View Full Bio
, United States district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

View Full Bio
, and newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

View Full Bio
regarding the effort to extradite JS 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
. All three gave suggestions for how JS might safely and successfully proceed in the case against him. On 21 December 1842, the day following the party’s return to 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
, JS appointed Richards his “private se[c]retary & historian” and Richards began keeping a new journal for JS in a small memorandum book.11

JS, Journal, 21 Dec. 1842.  

 
As temple recorder, Clayton retained possession of the Book of the Law of the Lord, in which he continued to record tithing and other donations.
 
Chronological Index to Journal Entries
 
Journal entries in the Book of the Law of the Lord were not always dated sequentially. In addition, there are several dates for which more than one entry was made, often with entries for other dates intervening. This chronological index helps to locate journal entries. In this index, sequential journal entries are not individually listed, and dates with no journal entry are not noted.
DateManuscript PagePage in JSP, J2
December 184126, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43–4410–21
Dec. 18413616
11–13 Dec. 18413314–15
13 Dec. 184126, 3310–11, 15–16
14 Dec. 18412611
15–16 Dec. 18413113–14
17 Dec. 18412611
22 Dec. 18413616–17
24–28 Dec. 18413917–19
29–31 Dec. 184143–4419–21
January 184231, 43–44, 48, 56–60, 66–6714, 21–32, 36–38
1 Jan. 18424421
4 Jan. 18424823–24
5 Jan. 184231, 4414, 21
6 Jan. 18425725–26
12–16 Jan. 18424824
15 Jan. 18425826–27
16 Jan. 184248, 5824, 27
17 Jan. 184243, 56, 5820–21, 24–25, 27
18–22 Jan. 18425827–30
23 Jan. 184259, 6630, 36–37
24 Jan. 18425930
25 Jan. 184259, 6630, 37
26–27 Jan. 18425930–31
28 Jan. 184259, 6731, 38
29–31 Jan. 18426031–32
February–July 184260–61, 88–95, 122–12832–36, 38–80
August 1842128–135, 164–167, 179–18480–99, 115–124
3–15 Aug. 1842128–13580–92
16 Aug. 1842135, 164–16593–96
17–21 Aug. 1842165–16796–99
Copied Correspondence168–178100–114
23–31 Aug. 1842179–184115–124
September–December 1842184–215124–183

Facts