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 9> and that injustice and cruelties of the most barbarous and atrocious character had been practiced upon us, until the Streams of had run with blood, and that he had seen women and children barefoot and houseless, crossing the to seek refuge from ruthless mobs. He concluded his remarks by saying that to tell us to go to for a trial was adding insult to injury, and then said “Great God! have I not seen it? Yes, my eyes have beheldthe bloodstained tracesof innocent women and children, in the drear winter, whohadtravelled hundreds of milesbarefoot, through frost and snow, toseeka refugefrom their savage pursuers. ’Twas a scene of horror, sufficientto enlist sympathyfrom an adamantine heart. And shallthis unfortunateman, whom their furyhas seen properto select for sacrifice, be driven intosuch a savage land, andnone dare to enlist in the cause of justice? Ifthere wasno other voiceunder heavenever to be heardin this cause, gladly would Istand alone, and proudlyspend mylatest breath, in defenceof an oppressedAmerican Citizen”
<10> Thursday morning 10th. The court was opened about 8 o’clock when <> delivered his opinion on the case. He said,
“that the Writ being once returned to the , by the Sheriff of , was dead, and stood in the same relationship as any other writ which might issue from the Circuit Court; and consequently the Defendant could not be held in Custody on that writ— The other point, whether evidence in the case was admissible or not, he would not at that time decide, as it involved great and important considerations, relative to the future conduct of the different states. There being no precedent as far as they had access to authorities to guide them; but he would endeavor to examine the subject and avail himself of all the authorities which could be obtained on the subject before he would decide that point. But on the other, the Defendant must be liberated.”
This decision was received with satisfaction by myself and the brethren, and all those whose minds were free from [HC 4:370] prejudice. It is now decided that before another writ can issue, a new demand must be made by the of Missouri. Thus have I been once more delivered from the fangs of my cruel persecutors, for which I thank God my heavenly Father. <I was discharged about 11 a.m. when I ordered dinner for my Company, now increased to about 60 men, and when I called for the Tavern bill, the unconscientious fellow replied “only one hundred and sixty dollars”—>
<About 2 p.m. the company commenced their return, travelled about 20 miles and camped by the way side.>
“<> June 15. 1841. President Smith: Sir, with pleasure I take my pen to write you at this time, and through you to the Times and Seasons; and through it to the Saints at large; and to all whom it may concern. May grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, rest upon you abundantly, and enable you to serve him acceptably— secure to yourself that honor which cometh from above— guide the counsels of the Saints in wisdom, that peace and good will may reign predominant in , and joy and gladness swell every grateful heart. Most gladly would I embrace an opportunity of a personal interview with you, did one offer, but such a favor is beyond my reach at this time— I have just seen the 12th. Number of the Times and Seasons, containing the minutes of your Conference— the report of the presidency— the celebration of the anniver[HC 4:372]sary of the [p. 1207]