Scope and Content

Collection contains draft manuscripts for the History of the Church, chronicling the activities of Joseph Smith and his successor, Brigham Young.

Collection begins with Willard Richards's draft history written in Nauvoo which documented Joseph Smith's activities between August 1838 and March 1843, followed by drafts completing Joseph Smith's history, written between 1854 and 1856 in Utah under the direction of Church historians George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff.

Collection also includes John Taylor's 1856 account of the murder of Joseph Smith in Carthage Jail.

The remainder of the collection consists of drafts documenting Brigham Young's activities, beginning in August 1844 and continuing until 1855. Some draft pages were used previously for various purposes, including a few used during Utah Territorial Legislative Assembly sessions.

The history drafts were continually revised and reviewed, even as late as 1871, and some of the files reflect usages by Andrew Jenson.

Historian's Office clerks involved in the history compilation were Thomas Bullock, Jonathan Grimshaw, Robert L. Campbell, John L. Smith, James Ure, Leo Hawkins, Richard Bentley, John Jaques, and Joseph F. Smith, with some writing by Heber John Richards and John Henry Smith.

The History of the Church was copied into volumes, which are cataloged as CR 100 102. A number of the source documents used for Joseph Smith's history are cataloged as CR 100 396, and some of the source documents used for Brigham Young's history are cataloged as CR 100 696.

Arrangement of Materials


3 boxes

3 boxes

Linear Feet

Use and Access

Open to research.

Church produced material; copyright transfer not necessary.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], Historian's Office History of the Church (draft). Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah

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Historian's Office (1842?-1972)
Language of the Materials
Access Restrictions
Open to research.
Alternate Finding Aids
Electronic Version
3 boxes
3 boxes

Related Topics and Terms