JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. C-1, created 24 Feb. 1845–3 July 1845; handwriting of , , Jonathan Grimshaw, and ; 512 pages, plus 24 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the third volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This third volume covers the period from 2 Nov. 1838 to 31 July 1842; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, D-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
This document, “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” is the third of six volumes of the “Manuscript History of the Church” (in The Joseph Smith Papers the “Manuscript History” bears the editorial title “History, 1838–1856”). The completed six-volume collection covers the period from 23 December 1805 to 8 August 1844. The narrative in this volume commences on 2 November 1838 with JS and other church leaders being held prisoner by the “’s forces” at , Missouri, and concludes with the death of Bishop at , Illinois, on 31 July 1842. For a more complete discussion of the entire six-volume work, see the general introduction to this history.
Volume C-1 was created beginning on or just after 24 February 1845 and its narrative was completed by 3 May 1845, although some additional work continued on the volume through 3 July of that year (Richards, Journal, 24 and 28 Feb. 1845; Historian’s Office, Journal, 3 May 1845; 3 and 4 July 1845). It is in the handwriting of and contains 512 pages of primary text, plus 24 pages of addenda. Additional addenda for this volume were created at a later date as a supplementary document and appear in this collection as “History, 1838-1856, volume C-1 Addenda.” Compilers and Thomas Bullock drew heavily from JS’s letters, discourses, and diary entries; meeting minutes; church and other periodicals and journals; and reminiscences, recollections, and letters of church members and other contacts. At JS’s behest, Richards maintained the first-person, chronological-narrative format established in previous volumes, as if JS were the author. , , , and others reviewed and modified the manuscript prior to its eventual publication in the Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News.
The historical narrative recorded in volume C-1 continued the account of JS’s life as prophet and president of the church. Critical events occurring within the forty-five-month period covered by this text include the Mormon War; subsequent legal trials of church leaders; expulsion of the Saints from Missouri; missionary efforts in by the and others; attempts by JS to obtain federal redress for the Missouri depredations; publication of the LDS Millennial Star in England; the migration of English converts to ; missionary efforts in other nations; the death of church patriarch ; the establishment of the city charter; the commencement of construction of the Nauvoo ; the expedition that facilitated temple construction; the introduction of the doctrine of proxy baptism for deceased persons; the dedicatory prayer by on the Mount of Olives in Palestine; publication of the “Book of Abraham” in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons; publication of the JS history often referred to as the “Wentworth letter;” the organization of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; and the inception of Nauvoo-era temple endowment ceremonies.
<April 12> the pelting storm, I am Gentlemen very respectfully your obt. servt. — Executive Office , March 1839. Dear Sir— On my return to this , after a few weeks absence in the interior of the , I received your letter of the 25th. ult in which you give a short account of the sufferings of the peoplecalledMormons and ask “whether they could be permitted to purchase lands [HC 3:317] and settle upon them in the , and there worshipAlmightyGod according to the dictates of their own consciences, secure from oppression” &c— In answer to your enquiry, I would say that I know of no authority that can constitutionally deprive them of this right. They are Citizens of the , and are entitled to all the rights and privileges of other Citizens. The 2nd. section of the 4th. article of the Constitution of the (which all are solemnly bound to support) declares that “the Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all the privileges and immunities of Citizens in the several States,” this privilege extends in full force to the Territories of the . The first amendment to the Constitution of the declares that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The ordinance of Congress of the 13th. July 1787 for the government of the Territory northwest of the River Ohio, secures to the Citizens of said Territory, and the Citizens of the States thereafter to be founed therein, certain privileges which were, by the late Act of Congress organizing the , extended to the Citizens of this . The first fundamental article in that Ordinance, which is declared to be for ever unalterable, except by common consent, reads as follows, to wit: “No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship of religious sentiments in said .” These principles I trust will ever be adhered to in the . They make no distinction between Religious Sects. They extend equal privileges and protection to all; each must rest upon its own merit and will prosper in proportion to the purity of its principles, and the fruit of holiness and piety produced thereby. With regard to the peculiar people mentioned in your letter, I know but little. They had a community in the Northern part of for several years, and I have no recollection of ever having heard in that State of any complaint against them for violating the laws of the Country. Their religious opinions I conceive has nothing to do with our political transactions. They are Citizens of the , and are entitled to the same political rights and legal protection that other Citizens are entitled to— The foregoing are briefly my views on the subject of your enquiries— With sincere respect, I am your obedient servant— — (To) Esqre. Illinois” [HC 3:318]
<14> Sunday 14. The Committee in Council resolved to send Sisters Fosdick and Meeks and Brother William Monjar and another family, with Brother Jones, Burton’s and Barlow’s teams, which had recently arrived from . [p. 920]