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 ’s Bill of Damages> injury. Since I have obtained my liberty, I feel my body broke down and my health very much impaired, from the fatigue and afflictions which I have undergone, so that I have not been able to perform any labor, since I have escaped from my oppressors— The loss of property which I sustained in the State of , would amount to several thousand dollars, and one hundred thousand dollars, would be no consideration, for what I have suffered, from privations! from my life being continually sought!! and all the accumulated sufferings I have been subject to. — [HC 3:374]
<11 Writing History> Tuesday 11. I commenced dictating my history for my Clerk— to write— About this time Elder <first house built> raised the first house, built by the Saints in this place, it was built of Logs about 25 or 30 rods N.N.E. of my dwelling on the N.E. Corner of Lot 4 Block 147. of the White purchase—
<History of > When I made the purchase of [Hugh] White and There were one Stone house, three frame houses and two block houses which constituted the whole city of . Between and Mr. ’s there was one Stone and three log houses including the one I live in, and these were all the houses in this vicinity, and the place was literally a wilderness. The land was mostly covered with trees and bushes, and much of it so wet that it was with the utmost difficulty a foot man could get through, and totally impassible for teams. was so unhealthy, very few could live there, but believing that it might become a healthy place, by the blessing of heaven to the Saints, and no more eligible place, presenting itself, I considered it wisdom to make an attempt to build up a City— [HC 3:375]
<12> Wednesday and Thursday I continued to dictate my history.
< letter> “ June 13. 1839— Prest. Smith— Sir— your letter in answer to my note to I received by the hand of Br. Harris— Respecting the Cattle I had promised three or four yoke to Father Myers— I did expect br. Shearer would have sent the Cattle down immediately or I should not have been quite so willing to have accommodated him with some to have moved with. Some of our poor brethren wished me to furnish them teams to move up to with, and I promised them, that when the teams returned I should, they were very anxious to get up in time to get in a little garden, and were not my plans frustrated, I could have accommodated them greatly to their satisfaction, the brethren that I allude to, are the blind brethren, who say that they had as soon live in tents there as here, it is now too late to think of making gardens, and what is best for them to do I know not [p. 954]