Note, we are blogging this now, you can read any new items at boaporg.wordpress.com.We've been doing some organizing of sources for the funeral sermons given by Joseph Smith. Naturally the most time-consuming effort will involve the King Follett Sermon, designated as text KFD2. The purpose of this work is to try to recover the original texts of Joseph Smith's funeral discourses, to the degree that such a recovery is possible (it really isn't, but the impossible never stopped me). The texts are important in part because these speaking events often served as platforms for Joseph Smith to disseminate foundational doctrinal themes. The transmission of the texts (editing history) will be discussed as well as the publication process over the years. There will be source criticism as well as text criticism. In another life, I actually knew about this sort of thing.
January 21, 2008.
KFD2 has reached several milestones, with a completely new recovery of source texts and a collation of sources and major published editions up through 1845 (it seems no published source texts for KFD2 have been free of transcription errors). For reasons that will be apparent when the texts become available, it is reasonable to bifurcate the critical discussion of KFD2 around two base texts, the Bullock 1844 amalgamation and the Grimshaw 1855 amalgamation. The deconstruction of the two texts has led to some interesting discoveries regarding the methods used by the editors and in some cases suggests motives for certain editorial expansions or changes. The critical apparatus is somewhat different than is usual for such discussions, partly because the archetypal text is an oral one. In addition to a novel critical apparatus, a more standard sort of critical form is planned. KFD2 has been divided up into 35 working "pages" (sections, if you will, each "page" actually consists of a number real pages itself). The thing is becoming rather large. I've tried to take a look at the cultural presence around Joseph, but it would be impossible to go beyond a beginning stage here. As usual, I hope it will be a good research tool, and perhaps settle some questions, and raise others.
A number of reconstructions of KFD2 have been done. The original plan was not to add another one, but folks keep asking about it. So after some consideration I've decided that we'll add another layer of work onto this and do another reconstruction. Hopefully, it will be a useful and open reference. Right now I'm involved in doing some of the very tedious checking. In the end, we may produce two reconstructions, a minimal and maximal one. I'll try to explain that when I get time to work out some of the details. This probably means that I'll be forced to do such reconstructions on all the funeral sermons.
Even though the texts are relatively short, the process has proved to be more complex and time-consuming than I initially thought.
One problem is getting a good software package to do what I want. I may have to write something myself.
March 25, 2008. I'm getting close to finishing KFD2 in terms of checking the initial critical apparatus. While doing this, I've had a baptism by fire in documentary editing, especially for an old mathematician. It's been an education. I thought I knew the basics already. The next step is to run through punctuation, then re-check annotation. One of the temptations I've struggled with is over-annotating. It will be bristling with notes as it is. I've been trying to follow ADE/MLA guidelines, fortunately Mary-Jo Kline's book is a life saver. I have decided to do part of the critical study in two tracks since, as already mentioned there were two distinct early (printed) texts. I have also started looking at KFD1. I also wrote some more on the introductory essay. It will be soothingly short. Each sermon will have its own short introduction regarding the sources, etc. Editing 19th century sermon notes is nearly a specialty unto itself it seems. But we could be breaking some new ground (rules?) here.
April 7, 2008. Part of the comparative (source critical) apparatus for KFD2 is more or less finished, with about half of the sources checked. One typographical facsimile is finished, along with a "reverse" facsimile for that text (difficult to explain at this point). After reviewing the available software, I eventually decided to use LaTeX to do the facsimiles. There are so many packages available that it was just a matter of putting the right ones together. For the comparative apparatus, which is a new system, at least for me, I ended up using MS Word since it provided the greatest functionality with the most convenient interface. It's not perfect (no pun intended), since it fails to allow some representations, but it does a fine job making the editorial processes that KFD2 initially underwent, transparent.
April 28, 2008. There are 7 KFD2-related texts now, but the thing just keeps expanding. The most daunting things for KFD2 are yet to be done. There is some really fun stuff for the careful student. I've stopped looking at the other sermons for the present. There is just too much involved with King Follett. The facsimile text for the Times and Seasons recension is more or less done, but needs several more proofings. I've finished typographical facsimiles for nearly all the manuscripts involved. The reverse engineering (source critical stuff) of the amalgamations is more or less done with most of the annotation finished, I think. The biographical information on the people involved is rather interesting. I've done something with the GM2 facsimile text (this is the "approved" KFD version appearing in the ms history of the Church) with textual work on the first Deseret News printing about half done. By far, the most detail work is found in editing GM2. There is a famous joke about documentary editing that appeared in the Spectator. I'll try and find it and put it up here, since it illustrates some of the angst I've had over some of this. But the sermons are important enough that I think the details, however trivial they may seem, are important. [I found it in Thorpe's book. The quote is from Joseph Addison:Indeed, when a different Reading gives us a different Sense,
or a new Elegance in an Author, the Editor does very well in
taking Notice of it; but when he only entertains us with the
several ways of Spelling the same Word, and gathers together
the various Blunders and Mistakes of twenty or thirty different
Transcribers, they only take up the Time of the learned
Reader, and puzzle the Minds of the Ignorant]
May 6, 2008. Just a small update. I've been trying to figure out what kind of a sample to put up as a preview. Tomorrow I'll be in Salt Lake at the historical dept. doing some proof reading mostly. I'm behind on the Woodruff journal materials.
May 7, 2008. The Wilford Woodruff journals are a restricted item at the CHL. You can read the typescript (doesn't help me). But no soap on even the film. So, a day wasted. I long for the 1970s again! Of course the technology was stone knives and forks comparatively. I remember using a manual typewriter there that was 30 years old even then (and I think the ribbon came from that era too)! Hopefully, permission comes through soon and I can proceed. I should say in defense of the archives that it was staff meeting time and so the senior missionaries were running things and they were just following procedure.
The tentative title for the book is "The Funeral Sermons of Joseph Smith, a Critical Edition." Sounds a bit formal, but it's descriptive.
May 16. After sitting for seven hours with the Wilford Woodruff journals, I once again appreciated his excellent handwriting compared to some of the other (admittedly hurried) scribblings I've been pouring over. His account of KFD2 is clearly smoothed by interpolation between archetypal quotations, but he did a reasonable job of it. He missed some things of course, but he does a good job conveying the gist of what was said. But he makes one wish for time machines. You want to go back and witness things for yourself. With a good recording device. Hmm. Seven hours for eight journal pages. The brain is a wonderful thing, but it is the enemy of anyone producing a facsimile. It wants to see those middle letters and other things that aren't really there sometimes.
June 4. It was a nice break: three weeks reviewing the literature on the evolution of textual criticism, and hunting for certain artifacts that played a role in the sermons.
July 1. When I said I was getting close on KFD2 I didn't mean close to the finish. I meant close to the beginning of an outline for the work on it. I have made some progress on the 19th century textual history and criticism of KFD2. I've got to make another run at the Woodruff materials, hopefully tomorrow. But basically the first pass at the facsimile text of the manuscript history version of KFD2 is now done. The 20th century is underway too, the text underwent a more controlled series of changes there and so I have done something different there. I have also exploited some interesting capabilities of LaTeX here which may be useful to the researcher. The first half of the 20th century is interesting in terms of it's impact on the printing history and widely differing opinions on KFD2 among Church leaders. A few of the 19th century editorialisms may have contributed to misapprehensions about the sermon. Moreover, the 19th century imprints in some respects controlled the text in the 20th century, rather than the manuscripts. This led to a somewhat remarkable (text critical) difference among the imprint traditions in the 20th century. The plan is to construct variorum texts for all the text traditions for each sermon.
July 15, 2008. I'm getting close to finishing the 20th century texts for KFD2. A few interesting things have come to light. Also I have two versions of a new reconstructed text. I have not decided which one to go with but either way it should be useful to both scholars and the faithful. Constructing a stemma has been a fun exercise which is not quite over yet. Back to the archives this week. I believe I've read some version or other of KFD2 more than 200 times in the last 6 months. A few more readings and its back to the 19th century. I have one more text to finish, a connecting text between the 19th and 20th century traditions. There also remain short introductions to each text and the concluding essay. All in all, KFD2 is a fascinatingly complex bit of history which reflects in many respects the more esoteric aspects of the foundation and development of Mormon theology.
July 19. Finally, here is an experiment I put together to show some of the variants in KFD2. There are two columns, the left comes from B. H. Roberts (1909), the right from the manuscript history of the LDS Church. For reasons I will explain in the book, they are fundamental to understanding KFD2. In any case, have a look, just for fun. There are a lot of acronyms for which I apologize (GM2 refers to the manuscript history text of KFD2), but you may be able to figure out many of them. I rather like this text, it or something like it, could make it into the book.
For those interested in text editing principles, I recommend you take a look at Robert D. Hume's article, "The Aims and Uses of Textual Studies." The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. 99 (2005): 197-230. His discussion of genesis, production, dissemination, reception is important to our efforts here.
Aug. 27. I'm still working on organizational matters. One thing I've decided to do is use one glossary for the whole book rather than one for each sermon. The latter might seem silly, but there are some reasons for it. But no point in talking about it now! In any case, I'm off to Paris, France to do some research for another kind of book altogether. Then there is the little matter of producing a book for a course next year. I'll be checking in and out a bit in any case.
Sept. 17. Just a small update: Well, not really finished with KFD2, but the basic texts are done with consistency checks and basic proof reading left. But I had a day to go to the historical dept. so I started with the facsimiles for KFD1, the March 10, 1844 discourse. Woodruff always surprises me. He's like a verbal cubic spline. Almost as good as Clayton. And a neat writer too. But it's difficult to tell what he most certainly left out. Too bad he didn't keep his notes.
October 17. Back in Utah! I've been walled up in little rooms doing research for my real job. Finally taking a break and fixing my wife's car. It seems as though whenever I leave town, something breaks. Anyway, the past day or so I've tried to do some intensive catchup on the sermons. I mentioned KFD1 (that's my designation). The March 10 sermon was delivered on the day of King Follett's burial. There is nothing in the sermon to suggest a eulogy or memorial for Follett, but I've included it anyway since Follett was a friend and shared in several of Joseph's hard times. It only makes sense that he was on Joseph's mind. Moreover, the subject matter is clearly appropriate.
November 15. Back in town again. Next week I think I will have a couple of free days to work on the sermons. I'll be getting permission to look at some other manuscripts and doing a review of the Woodruff transcription for KFD1.
November 24. No real news on the sermon's front, I just wanted to note that I received a copy of volume 1 of the JS papers (Journals) a few days ago. It is very nicely done. The web material is not up yet, but you can get a free index volume by going to the web site and registering for a copy. The only thing I would have wished for was a page by page facsimile- typographical facsimile. It would be too expensive of course and possibly more difficult to use. As it is, it appears to be a fine and useful piece of work. Looking forward to other volumes next year. Also, the production value seems high.
November 30. I did not have the opportunity to get to the church archives, however I did get some organizing done. During the latter part of December, I will be in Utah, so I plan constructing at least some of the facsimiles of sources underlying all the funeral texts. My goal is to have all those completed by March of 2009. In the mean time, I thought I would write a little review of volume 1 of the JS papers mentioned above.
Title: The Papers of Joseph Smith, Journals, Volume 1, 1832-1839
18.5 x 26 cm.
Dust cover (recto) has an image of JS, visible on the web site. Verso has two advance blurbs, one from Stephen Marini (Wellesley College), one from Jan Shipps.
Volume editors listed as Dean C. Jessee, Mark Ashurst-McGee and Richard L. Jensen.
List of Illustrations and Maps
Timeline of JS's life
A map of JS's residences
The general introduction to the papers by Richard Bushman and Dean Jessee
An introduction to the journal series and then an introduction to volume 1
A section on editorial method
Then the various journals (1832-34, 1835-36, March- Sept. 1838, Sept. - Oct. 1838, 1839).
Reference material includes a chronology for 1832-39, a geographical directory, maps, pedigree chart, biographical directory, ecclesiastical organizational charts, glossary, essay on sources, works cited, a correspondance for D&C section numbers.
The journals themselves contain extensive notes. Readers familiar with the Jessee volumes of papers will have little trouble with this volume. Bold type refers to JS's own handwriting for example. Dates are uniformly given in European style (as 23 Feb. 1834, for February 23, 1834, for example). Cited revelations are given by date, first publication in D&C with current section in brackets (as 27 Feb. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 80:3, 1835 ed. [D&C 89:16-21]). Biographical information about persons appearing in the journals finds a home in both the footnotes and the biographical register (mostly the latter). The designation CHL (Church History Library) in the annotation is used for the LDS archives in Salt Lake City. Within the journals, handwriting change is noted with a "/" and footnote identifying the scribe. Multispectral imaging has been used to recover erasures (washing/scraping). An image of the opening page of the "scriptory book" shows that it was washed to erase names of Saints living in Caldwell Co., MO. to provide space for the title. [The names are readable.]
Where entries are retrospective this is noted by an italcized title, as are entry dates.
Sources are amplified with correspondance and other items which will undoubtedly provide a basis for reexamining certain issues like the trajectory of Oliver Cowdery in church leadership.
Brief journal entries may be amplified to suggest activities behind the short references, such as the entry for Septemter 16-21, 1839.
The geographical directory contains useful information regarding the naming history of various relevant locations. For example the entry for "Chardon Township, Geauga County, Ohio" reads, "Map 4:C-5 [entries indicate maps containing the location] 1830 population about 900. Included Chardon town, platted in 1808 and selected as Geauga Co. seat because of central location though only sparsely inhabited through 1810s. JS and other Latter-day Saints occasionally traveled to Chardon for legal business or to visit local church members. JS's sisters Katherine Smith Salisbury and Sophronia Smith Stoddard resided in or near Chardon Township."
Maps are detailed and provide orientation for the text. For example, the maps of Kirtland Township [p. 388-9] provide locations of important structures and homes in 1835, 1838.
The biographical directory contains original research, but probably appealed to previous efforts as a guide. All facts however, are claimed to have been verified from original sources. JS's plural wives are not entered, but will appear in a future volume [p. 397]. The entries are somewhat comparable to Lyndon Cook's in "Revelations."
The textual notes often recover obscure meanings, such as "fills" probably referring to "thills" a wagon part [p. 281]. The Missouri period notes are especially useful in providing context to the journal entries.
I randomly selected a page from the volume [p. 66] to compare with the original ms. The entry for September 26, 1835 in the volume reads in part "some matters of difficulty which
was<ware> existing between some of them" while the original appears to read "some matters of difficulty which waseexisting between some of them". p. lxi states that words in angle brackets are insertions. However, this does not seem to be the case here. Moreover, there appears to be no cancellation apparent (unless some imaging technique was used but not noted).
Another page selected at random [p. 129] has an entry for December 18, 1835. It reads in part: "Friday morning
17th 18th Inst. at home Br. Hyrum Smith called" the original appears as "Friday morning 18.th Inst.. at home [at this point in the ms there appears something like w/, apparently a flourish - part of the following "B"] Br. Hyrum Smith called". There are some possible differences here, however the 18 has clearly been changed by overwriting a 7 by simply completing the loop from the apex of the 7 down to it's base, forming an 8. Both these entries illustrate the difficulty of representing ms text typographically. The Joseph Smith papers web site states that images of at least a portion of the papers will be available online. This could be useful for projects like ours if it is extensive enough.
This work portends great things to come, especially when we see the manuscript history. Annotation promises to be particularly useful if this volume is any guide. That said, I hope the translation/ revelations volumes are somewhat more explicit (for my own purposes).
In any case, I thought you might like a short take on this ground-breaking and very fine volume. Meanwhile I should have more to report on the funeral sermons in a few weeks.
Dec. 17. I was able to spend about 12 hrs. at the archives this week. I finished the basic extraction and review for the Woodruff facsimiles. I also got started on the Burgess material and nearly got to Martha Coray. I've made considerable headway with the JS diary items. I also have a couple of people who are checking my work, so we will have triple-checked every word, letter, space, correction and lack of same when we are done. Collection of published versions is far more tedius for some reason.
January 8, 2009. Where does the time go?? I was up to the CHL today, reading Martha Coray, George Laub and that was about all I could get to. One facsimile for Laub, one for Coray. There are more to come of course. The handwriting is fading for both of them. Six hours of staring at journal entries will make you wish for something else to do, so I got the microfilm for Coray (Laub was on the same film!) and found some really interesting stuff there, old misionary journals from the late 19th century, stuff from the early 20th century. Wonderful bits and pieces of people's lives, shadows of events that are lost to time. Then I went over to the Lion House for some dessert. While there I started thinking about provenance issues. Blah. I need some spring weather. Only two more months or so for that. Back to doing mathematics tomorrow.
February 4, 2009. Still creating facsimile texts. I've done (at least) first passes at most of them now. Martha Coray and James Burgess both supply sermon-texts grouped at the end of short journals. These were clearly copied from earlier contemporary scraps. They suggest tantalizing possibilities. There are a few other similar matters that pertain to the "official" reports. Fun.
Feb. 15. I have been busy with my real job, but I've had a few days and evenings to work. I've been looking a little bit now for the Thomas Bullock original for JS's May 12, 1844 address. There is a late edited version ca 1855 created by Bullock (which is the one that appears in Ehat and Cook). Some of the original can be derived from the editing Bullock showed, but of course it is missing his characteristic speed writing. It may of course be filed with some other material, but looking for it could be daunting. That is put off for now. I still have other sources to get to that I know about. I have some motivation to get back to Salt Lake with some frequency now because the library-archives will close in April for a few months for the move to the new building across the street. Looking forward to seeing the new facility. Hopefully the equipment will be updated some. And I'm tired of the snow now.
I forgot to mention that the second volume of the Joseph Smith Papers (vol. 1 of Revelations and Translations series) will be available this fall sometime. You can now pre-order it. Also the index for Journals Vol. 1 has been mailed out, so if you ordered one, look for that. The R&T volume is quite exciting, containing a complete scan of the Book of Commandments and Revelations volume found in the First Presidency vault some years ago. Among many other interesting items is the "copyright" revelation heretofore attested only by David Whitmer, I believe. His spin was somewhat negative, but the revelation reads in a less rigorous way than Whitmer remembered. It is a bit more expensive than the journals volume (and dimensionally larger) because of the scans. Plan on $100.00 plus shipping.
Feb. 19. I spent some time in the archives today. Aside from the usual transcription effort, while I was looking through some correspondence, I came across a couple of letters that facsinated me. One was from Howard Coray (1817-1900) to his daughter Martha Jane Knowlton (Coray) Lewis (1844-1929). The letter was composed in 1889, and was prompted by a letter from his daughter asking about changes she saw in the church, evidently her faith was tried over some issues which I won't go into here. Anyway Coray's response in rather a masterpiece, detailing some of his experiences with Joseph Smith that I did not know about and as far as I know are not found elsewhere, and I plan to put it in the Early Saints collection eventually. (It's there now.) The other letter(s) were correspondence between a resident of Salt Lake City (around 1908 if I recall) and Sir A. Conan Doyle. Doyle was in Salt Lake and his correspondant wanted to know if he was now ready to admit that his treatment of the Mormons in "A Study in Scarlet" was bogus. Doyle wrote back on Hotel Utah stationary that the issue of the (Utah) Danites' existence was historical fact and required no apology. Then he said it was probably best to let sleeping dogs lie or something to that effect. Doyle's handwriting was a small, compact but very readable script I think. Doyle was in SLC to give a lecture on spiritualism, his cause celebre.
March 3, 2009. Just a short report on what's happening: We have extracted all the manuscript sources we initially planned for and about 40% of the known printed sources (we think). By far the most internal correspondence and discussion is related to KFD2 ("The King Follett Sermon") and most of this has been gathered, collated and discussed at least in a preliminary fashion. Manuscript sources for all the sermons have all been reviewed at least twice for all the sermons, and the third review should be finished before mid-April this year. The plan is to concentrate first on those texts that require CHL access so that is wrapped up before the library begins the move to its new location.
I was at the archives the other day and one thing I did was look at sexton reports for Nauvoo. Life offered many dangers for the young, as it can now. One in particular struck me, a small boy, 2 years old, died from falling into the cooking fire at home. I can imagine the agony of his parents, the impossibility of helping the child in his struggles and pain. Such things were repeated so many times. Faith had to be strong or surely cynicism, depression or bitterness could win out as it surely did on more than one occasion. But for the most part, such stories drift into the silent background of history, people going on with their lives, finding some sober happiness in their belief and experience and in many instances in the words Joseph Smith spoke.
April 15, 2009. Yes it's tax day. I have done some work on the Elias Higbee (Higby) sermon. It has its own interesting history. I'm about at the point of trying to do a reconstruction.
April 27, 2009. Some interesting persons who had an impact on JS's sermons after his death:
Robert L. Campbell (1825-1874). Robert Lang Campbell was born
to Alexander Campbell (not the American religionist) and Janet Stewart
at Kilbrachan, Renfrewshire, Scotland, January 21, 1825. Baptized at John-
ston, Scotland 1841 and migrated to Nauvoo, 1844. Served mission to Europe
1850-53. Territorial Superintendent of Common Schools (Utah), chief clerk
of House of Representatives in Utah Legislature. Played an important role
in the Church Historians office and wrote portions of the manuscript his-
tory of the Church. Married Joan Scobie, November 29, 1845, Nauvoo, Ill.
Polygamist, marrying Mary Stewart, of Glasgow, Scotland, November 14,
1853; Jeanie Miller of his home town May 6, 1855; Elizabeth Beveridge, July
17, 1857, all at Salt Lake City. Twenty-two children. Died April 11, 1874,
Salt Lake City, Utah. [Deseret Daily News death notice, Utah Territorial
records, Church Historians office Journal, Endowment House records.]
Jonathan Grimshaw (1818-1897). Grimshaw as born January 24,
1818, at Yeadon, Leeds, Yorkshire, England to Jonathan Grimshaw and
Sarah Pickersgill. M. Eliza Maria Topham June 17, 1841, Leeds, Eng-
land. Shoemaker, private carrier, railway goods manager. Mostly self-taught
writer, bookkeeper. Joined Baptists, about 1836, the Millerite Adventists,
1844. Baptized LDS April 23, 1849, ordained elder May 12, 1850. Sailed
from Liverpool, England to New Orleans, Louisiana, arrived March 15, 1851.
Took steamer up river to St. Louis. Left St. Louis by steamer, landed in
Missouri May 2, 1851; paid $45 for the trip. Favorably impressed by Jeo,er-
son City. Traveled by ox team to Salt Lake Valley, arrived sometime near
August 1851. Secretary to the Deseret Philosophical Society. Employed by
the Church in the historians office by June 1853 until August 10, 1856 when
he and his family left Utah for the east (the states). Grimshaw was in a
difficult position economically and the hard times, lack of food stuffs, etc.,
together with his wavering faith in Mormonism led to a decision to return to England. However
economic circumstances kept him in the US. Spent a number of years living
in St. Louis, MO including the war years. A son graduated from college in St.
Louse in 1861. Moved to Jefferson City, MO and was elected mayor in 1868.
Son, Arthur P. Grimshaw also served as mayor, 1890. By 1880 Jonathan was
a widower, employed as an express agent in Jefferson
City and living with a 24 year-old daughter, Sarah A. Grimshaw (born in Utah).
Grimshaw received the LDS temple endowment March 13, 1852 and was
sealed to Eliza on the same day in the Salt Lake City "Council House."
Grimshaw played a major role in the revision JS's sermons for the ms history. Died
August 13, 1897, Jefferson City, MO. [Grimshaw 1851 travel journal, Church
historian's office journal, LDS temple index records, U.S. census records,
Jefferson City history, family records, Wilford Woodruff's Journal.]
Leo Hawkins (1834-1859). Hawkins was born July 19, 1834 in London,
England, baptized by John Banks October 23, 1848 in London. Sailed from
Liverpool, England November 10, 1849, arriving New Orleans on Christmas
Day. Stayed in St. Louis until 1852. Arrived Salt Lake City, September
24, 1852. The following year (20 September) he began work in the LDS
church historians office. February 7, 1854 ordained a Seventy and served
as a president of the 22nd quorum beginning October 4, 1856. Married
Sarah Kay, January 31, 1856 in the Endowment House. Served as Salt Lake
County recorder. Spoke and read Latin with some skill. Skilled map maker.
Profcient in Pitman shorthand and recorded a number of addresses for the
Journal of Discourses among other venues. Died Sunday May 29, 1859 of
consumption, Salt Lake City. Hawkins was an important contributor to the
Church Historians efforts in compiling the JS history. [Endowment House
records, Church Historians office Journal, Deseret News obituary, June 1859.]
June 5, 2009. The Elias Higbee sermon (chapter 4 of the book) is now more or less complete, so we have made a bit of progress.
Contact us at boap at boap dot org if you have suggestions, relevant information or questions, etc.
Further postings can be found at boaporg.wordpress.com. -WVS