The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Vol. 1 (1832-1844)

by Dean C. Jessee

  • Imgres 44
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Imgres 44

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With the assistance of Frederick G. Williams, Joseph Smith first set about recording his own history in the summer of 1832. In it he recounted for the first time in writing his first vision of Deity and the discovery of the gold plates. Two years later a more ambitious project, the 1834-1836 history, was initiated. This history drew largely on existing records, including Oliver Cowdery's account of the translation of the Book of Mormon and the conferral of priesthood authority. Like the 1832 history, this manuscript remained unfinished.

Presented in this first volume of the Histories series are the six histories that Joseph Smith personally wrote, dictated, or supervised.


List of Illustrations and Maps

Timeline of Joseph Smith's Life

Map: Joseph Smith's Residences

Series Introduction: Joseph Smith's Historical Enterprise

Chart: History Creation Dates, Narrative Spans, Scribes, and Precursor Documents

Chart: Relationships among Histories and Precursors

Volume 1 Introduction: The Histories of Joseph Smith, 1832-1844

Editorial Method

Joseph Smith Histories, 1832-1844

History, circa Summer 1832

History, 1834-1836

History Drafts, 1838-circa 1841

"Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.," July 1839

"Church History" 1 March 1842

"Latter Day Saints," 1 March 1842

Appendix: Orson Pratt, A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, 1840

Reference Material

Chronology for the Years 1805-1844


Map Index

Pedigree Chart

Biographical Directory


Essay on Sources

Works Cited

Corresponding Section Numbers in Editions of the Doctrine and Covenants


Four additional histories, assigned by Joseph Smith but not dictated or supervised by him, will form the content of Histories, Volume 2. The balance of the Histories series, published electronically at the Joseph Smith Papers website, will present the entirety of the massive multivolume history initiated in 1838.

About the Author

Dean C. Jessee

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