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.
<May 10> and who have taken up their residence in and about this place in large numbers. I have no hesitation in saying that this people have been most shamefully persecuted, and cruelly treated by the people of . [HC 3:349]
“ has resided in, and near this place for three or four months during which time his conduct has been that of a Gentleman, and a moral and worthy Citizen. Saml.Leech.”
<13> Monday 13. I was engaged in general business at home, and in transacting a variety of business with brother ; and gave him the following <s introduction> letter.
“ Illinois 13. May 1839. Joseph Smith Jr., , and ; Presiding Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; do hereby certify and solemnly declare unto all the Saints scattered abroad, and send unto them greeting: That we have always found President to be a man of the most strict integrity, and moral virtue, and in fine to be a man of God. We have had long experience and acquaintance with , we have entrusted vast business concerns to him, which have been managed skillfully to the support of our Characters and interest, as well as that of the Church, and he is now authorised by a general Conference to go forth and engage in vast and important concerns as an Agent for the Church, that he may fill a station of usefulness in obedience to the commandments of God, which was given unto him July 8. 1838 which says “Let him (meaning ) contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord.” We earnestly solicit the Saints scattered abroad to strengthen his hands with all their might, and to put such means into his hands as shall enable him to accomplish his lawful designs and purposes, according to the commandments, and according to the instructions which he shall give unto them. And that they intrust him with monies, lands, chattels, and goods, to assist him in this work, and it shall redound greatly to the interest and welfare, peace, and satisfaction of my Saints, saith the Lord God. For this is an honorable agency which I have appointed unto him saith the Lord; and again, verily thus saith the Lord, I will lift up my servant , and beget for him a great name on the Earth, and among my people, because of the integrity of his soul; therefore let all my Saints abound unto him, with all liberality and long suffering, and it shall be a blessing on their heads. We would say unto the Saints abroad, Let our hearts abound with grateful acknowledgments unto God our Heavenly Father, who hath [HC 3:350] called us unto his holy calling, by the revelation of Jesus Christ in these last days, and has so mercifully stood by us, and delivered us out of the seventh trouble, which happened unto us in the State of — May God reward our enemies according to their works. We request the prayers of all the Saints. Subscribing ourselves, their humble brethren in tribulations in the bonds of the everlasting Gospel. Joseph Smith Jr. , ”
“To the presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Greeting. [p. 937]