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.
<October 19> a letter from , a few days ago, who is in and is expecting to leave for England as soon as [HC 4:231] reaches him. He requested to know if converted Jews are to go to or to come to . I therefore wish you to inform him, that Converted Jews must come here.
<Give my kind love to all the brethren and sisters; and tell them I should have been pleased to come over to England to see them, but I am afraid that I shall be under the necessity of remaining here for some time, therefore I give them a pressing invitation to come and see me. I remain Dr. Brethren yours affectionately Joseph Smith—> [HC 4:232]
“ Octr. 28. 1840 Brothers and : As we consider it perfectly consistent with our calling, with reason and revelation, that we should form a knowledge of kingdoms and countries, whether it be at home or abroad, whether it be ancient or modern,— whether it be of things past, present or to come, whether it be in heaven, earth or hell, air or seas; or whether we obtain this knowledge by being local or travelling, by study or by faith, by dreams or by visions, by revelation or by prophecy, it mattereth not unto us; if we can but obtain a correct principle and knowledge of things as they are, in their true light, past, present and to come. It is under such a view of things that we are endeavoring to avail ourselves of every opportunity in our travels among the nations of the earth, to record an account of — — things as they pass under our observation; extracts of which we may forward to you from time to time, which may not be uninteresting to your readers. We will on this occasion make a few extracts. from ’s Journal, concerning certain places which we <have visited.>
On the 21st. of August 1840 we visited the — — — — monument erected in commemoration of the dreadful fire of , in the year 1666, built under the inspection of that great arctitect, Sir Christopher Wren. We entered a door at its base, — — — — — — — — — — — — and ascended 345 black marble steps, which brought us 200 feet into the air, about 150 feet above the highest dwellings; we stepped on the outside of the pillar; (surrounded by an iron railing,) when at once <was> presented to our view an indescribable scenery upon every hand. Here we were standing 200 feet in the air, upon <one of> the highest and finest modern columns in the world, and with the glance of the naked eye, we could overlook, and survey the largest, most noted, populous and splendid commercial city upon the face of the whole earth; — — — — — — — — — containing a million and a half of human beings, and such a grand scenery, and sublime prospect our eyes never before beheld. We were situated so as to overlook nearly the whole city. East of us, lay the — — — — — Tower of London and the Mint. North, the Mansion of the Lord Mayor — — — — — and the Bank of England. Northwest, St. Paul’s Cathedral. <South> West, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace &c. South lies the River Thames running from west to east, with five large arched bridges across it in full view, and another which is not seen from the Pillar, making six, namely Southwark, which — — — — — — — — — — — — is — — — of — — — — — — iron, — — — — — — — — — London, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Vauxhall bridges [p. 1119]