Lucy Mack Smith History (1845)

A few months after the deaths of her sons Joseph, Hyrum, and Samuel, Lucy Mack Smith began dictating the history of her life and family. She told of her ancestors and her children, and she spelled out “the particulars of Joseph’s getting the plates [and] seeing the angels.” The page on display notes her experience at the Church’s first meeting, on April 6, 1830, and first general conference, on June 9 of that year. She gives emphasis to her husband’s baptism, the ordination of her sons, and the departure of one of her sons, Samuel, as the first missionary of the Church.

Lucy’s autobiography offers a unique perspective on her family’s role in the early Church, retells incidents and interactions recounted nowhere else, and shares insights no one else could provide. It is a record of inestimable value.

Lucy dictated the history to scribes Martha Jane Knowlton Coray and Howard Coray, who turned the first rough draft manuscript into two revised, or “fair,” copies, one of which remained with Lucy, while the other remained with the Church and is displayed here. The volume was first printed in 1853 in Liverpool, England.