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.
<January 8> Friday 8. Elder wrote President from England
“In the first place we have had one snow this winter of some three inches deep. The weather is now so cold that it is in danger of freezing potatoes in the chamber: it is the coldest we have had. It is somewhat sickly with scarlet and other fevers. One family of Saints buried three children at a time. Peace is declared between the allied powers and Egypt. Palestine is in the hands of Turkey. The Jews have as much liberty there as the Government guarantees to its citizens. As to the progress of the work of God in this Country it is increasing at every step. It is now prospering in Ireland, and in Wales, as well as in Scotland and England. It is spreading into various new places in England. We have several hundred faithful preachers; and the Spirit of enquiry seems to be more generally awakened. The Clergy of the Church of England, the Methodist priests, the Baptist Ministers, Unitarians &c are all in arms, as it were against the Saints. The Country is flooded with pamphlets, tracts, papers &c published against us. Some of them have bear and wolf stories in them, some of them have snake stories, and others gander stories. I must say that “Jonathan” is far behind “John Bull,” in ingenuity in regard to inventing lies; all the foolishness ever published in the against the truth, would be considered sober earnest, compared to the follies which are being made manifest here, but I will forbear with a promise to send you a few specimens when our next emigrants sail for your place— I must now inform you of the [HC 4:266] fact that we have reaped the first fruits of Campbellism in England, at a place called Nottingham.”
<15> “A Proclamation to the Saints scattered abroad, Greeting:— Beloved brethren:— The relationship which we sustain to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, renders it necessary that we should make known from time to time, the circumstances situation and prospects of the Church, and give such instructions as may be necessary for the well being of the Saints, and for the promotion of those objects, calculated to further their present and everlasting happiness. We have to congratulate the Saints on the progress of the great work of the “last days”; for not only has it spread through the length and breadth of this vast continent; but on the Continent of Europe, and on the Islands of the Sea, it is spreading in a manner entirely unprecedented in the annals of time. This appears the more pleasing when we consider, that but a short time has elapsed, since we were unmercifully driven from the State of , after suffering cruelties and persecutions in their various, and horrid forms— Then our overthrow, to many, seemed inevitable, while the enemies of truth triumphed over us, and by their cruel reproaches endeavored to aggravate our sufferings. But “the Lord of Hosts was with us, the God of Jacob was our refuge!” and we were delivered from the hands of bloody and deceitful men; and in the State of we found an asylum, and were kindly welcomed by persons worthy the character of Freemen. It would be impossible to emunerate all those who in our time of deep distress, nobly came forward to our relief, and like the good Samaritan poured oil into our wounds, and contributed [p. 1143]