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 27> to come in too slowly— in order that we may be able to meet our engagements we have determined to call upon the liberality of Father Biggler through the agency of , and request that he will place in his hands for us, the sum of five or six hundred dollars, for which he shall have the security of the said Committee, also, through the agency of , and the thanks of the Church besides— Joseph Smith Jr., — To Mr. Mark Biggler, Ill.”
<Letter to > “, Ill, 27 May 1839 Dear Sir— Having last week received a letter from Br. concerning your late writings in the Quincy Whig, and understanding thereby that the Church in general at were rather uneasy concerning these matters, we have thought best to consider the matter of course, and accordingly being in Council on Saturday last, the subject was introduced, and discussed at some length, when an answer to ’s Letter was agreed to, and sanctioned by the Council, which answer I expect will be published, and of course you will have an opportunity to see it. It will be seen by that letter that we do not at all approve of the course which you have thought proper to take in making the subject of our [HC 3:366] sufferings a political question at the same time you will perceive that we there express, what we really feel, that is, a confidence in your good intentions in so doing. And (as I took occasion to state to the Council) knowing your integrity of principle, and steadfastness in the cause of Christ, I feel not to exercise even the privilege of Council on the subject, save only to request, that you will endeavor to bear in mind the importance of the subject, and how easy it might be to get into a misunderstanding with the brethren concerning it, and though last, not least, that whilst you continue to go upon your own credit, you will also steer clear of making the Church appear as either supporting or opposing you in your politics, lest such a course may have a tendency to bring about persecution on the Church, where a little wisdom and caution may avoid it. I do not know that there is any occasion for my thus cautioning you, in this thing, but having done so, I hope it will be well taken, and that all things shall eventually be found to work together for the good of the Saints. I should be happy to have you here to dwell amongst us, and am in hopes soon to have that pleasure. I was happy to receive your favor of the 20th.. inst: and to observe the Contents, and beg to say in reply that I shall attend to what you therein suggest, and shall feel pleasure at all times to answer any request of yours, and attend to them also in the best manner possible. With every possible feeling of love and friendship for an old fellow prisoner, and brother in the Lord— I remain Sir, your sincere friend Joseph Smith Jr.— To Col. , , Ill.“
< Introduction> “, Hancock Co., Ill. 27th. May 1839— To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints— Greeting— From our knowledge of the great sacrifices made by the Bearer Br. , in behalf of the welfare of us, and the Church generally, and from the great trust which we have often times reposed in him, and as often found him trustworthy, not seeking his own [p. 947]