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.
<December 1 No. 17 Vol 4 Deseret News> Sunday December 1. 1839. The High Council of met at s and voted that , , and be a Committee to send a petition to the legislature to discontinue certain parts of the City of , and also of ; and <do> all other needful acts relative to those Cities, that furnish the maps and plats, for the alteration, and that circulate the Petition for signatures. Voted that Bishop publish a piece in the “Times and Seasons”, informing the brethren in the West, that it is improper to remove from the West, for the purpose of locating in , Ohio, and that those who do thus remove will be disfellowshiped by the Council
“, Corner of Missouri and Third Streets Decr. 5. 1839 Dear President and to the Honorable High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints— To whom be fellowship, love and the peace of Almighty God extended and the prayer of faith for ever and ever Amen— Your fellow Laborers Joseph Smith Jr., and Agents, as well as the Servants that are sent by you, to perform one of the most [HC 4:39] arduous and responsible duties, and also to labor in the most honorable cause that ever graced the pages of human existence; — — — respectfully show by these lines, that we have taken up our cross thus far, and that we arrived in this on the morning of the 28th. of November, and spent the most of that day in looking up a boarding house which we succeeded in finding. We found as cheap boarding as can be had in this . On Friday Morning 29th. we proceeded to the house of the — We found a very large and splendid palace, surrounded with a splendid enclosure decorated with all the fineries and elegancies of this world— we went to the door and requested to see the ; when we were immediately introduced into an Upper Apartment where we met the and were introduced into his parlor, where we presented him with our Letters of introduction— As soon as he had read one of them, he looked upon us with a kind of half frown and said What can I do? I can do nothing for you!— if I do any thing I shall come in contact with the whole State of — But we were not to be intimidated, and demanded a hearing, and constitutional rights— Before we left him, he promised to reconsider what he had said, and observed that he felt to sympathise with us on account of our sufferings— Now we shall endeavor to express our feelings and views concerning the , as we have been eye witnesses of his Majesty— He is a small man, sandy complexion, and ordinary features; with frowning brow, and considerable body but not well proportioned, to his arms and legs— and to use his own words “is quite fat”— On the whole we think he is without body or parts, as no one part seems to be proportioned to another— therefore instead of saying body and parts, we say body and part, or partyism if you please to call it, and in fine to come directly to the point, he is so much a fop or a fool, (for he judged our cause before he knew it,) we could find no place to put truth into him— We do not say the Saints shall not vote for him, but we do say boldly (though it need not be published in the Streets of — neither among the daughters [p. 988]