Historians and academics use a handful of histories written by those closest to Joseph Smith during his ministry to document and tell the story of the Latter-day Saints. One of the most important histories that has not previously been available is a complex history of the early Church written in several installments by Newel Knight. He was one of a few early converts to write about the founding events in Church history. Knight died in January 1847, north of Winter Quarters, at the young age of forty-six. During the last five years of his life, he wrote a personal history composed of two elements: autobiography and journal. Though extremely important to the history of the Church, Knight’s history has always been a difficult source to use because it was never published in one place until now. This publication of his history brings together his manuscripts and offers a way to cite them more precisely.
About the Author
William G. Hartley was a research historian for BYU’s Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and completed doctoral course work at Washington State University. Hartley was a leading authority on Church history, having worked at the Church History Department and on the Joseph Smith Papers Project. His books have focused on family history research and histories of specific families and nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint history. Hartley passed away in 2018.
Michael Hubbard MacKay is an associate professor in the Department of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received an engineering degree from the US Air Force. He received an MA degree from the University of York in England, focusing on world history, culture, and the history of science and medicine. His PhD was also awarded by the University of York, where he studied cultural theory, history of science and medicine, and print culture.