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.
<June 4 Joseph’s Bill of Damages> had threatened their lives, and had shot several times at them; Immediately on hearing this strange intelligence. I made preparations to start, in order, if possible to allay the feelings of opposition, if not to make arrangements with those individuals of whom we had made purchases, and to whom I was responsible and holden for part of the purchase money— I arrived there on the [blank] day of September, and found the account which I heard was correct—. Our people were surrounded by a mob, their provisions nearly exhausted— messengers were immediately sent to the Governor, requesting protection, but instead of lending any assistance to the oppressed, he stated that the Quarrel was between the Mormons and the Mob, and that they must fight it out. Being now almost destitute of provisions and having suffered great distress, and some of the brethren having died in consequence of their privations & sufferings, and I had then the pain of beholding some of my fellow creatures perish in a strange land from the cruelty of a mob— seeing no prospect of relief, the Brethren agreed to leave that place and seek a shelter elsewhere, after having their houses burnt down, their cattle driven away, and much of their property destroyed— was also petitioned to afford us some assistance He sent a company of about 100 men, but instead of affording us any relief, we were told by that he could afford none, in consequence of the greater part of his Company under their officer Capt. having mutinied. About 70 Waggons left for , and during their journey were continually insulted by the Mob, who threatened to destroy us, and shot at us— In our Journey several of our friends died and had to be interred without a Coffin & under such circumstances which were extremely distressing. Immediately on my arrival at I was informed by from that a company of about 800 were marching towards a Settlement of our brethren in , and he advised one of the officers, that we should immediately go to protect our brethren in (in what he called White’s Town) until he should get the Militia to put them down— a company of militia to the number of sixty who were on their rout to that place, he ordered back, believing as he said that they were not to be depended upon, and to use his own language were “damned rotten hearted” [HC 3:369] agreeable to the advice of , and a number of our brethren volunteered to go to to render what assistance they could. My labors having been principally expended in where I intended to take up my residence and having a house in building, and having other property there, I hastened up to that place, and while I was there a number of the Brethren’s houses were burnt and depredations were continually committed, such as driving off Horses, Cattle, Sheep, &c &c Being deprived of shelter, and others having no safety in their houses, which were scattered and being alarmed at the approach of the Mob. they had to flock together, their sufferings were very great in consequence [p. 949]