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.
<August 25> of you being a deathlysicklyhole, and that we have <not> been able in consequence, to realize any valuable consideration from it, although we have been keeping up appearances and holding out inducements to encourage <im>migration, that we scarcely think justifiable in consequence of the mortality that almost invariably awaits those who come from far distant parts, (And that with a view to enable us to meet our engagements) And now to be goaded by you, for a breach of good faith, and neglect, and dishonorable conduct. seems to me to be almost beyond endurance. You are aware that we came from destitute of every thing but physical force, and had nothing but our energies and perserverance to rely upon to meet the payment of the extortionate sum, that you exacted for the land we had ofyou. Have you no feelings of commiseration? or is it your design to crush us with a ponderous load, before we are able to walk? or can you better dispose of the property, than we are doing for your interest, If so, <to> the alternative. I therefore propose in order to avoid the perplexity and annoyance that has hitherto attended the transaction, that you come and take the premises and make the best you can of it; Or stand off and give us an opportunity, that we may manage the concern, and enable ourselves by the management thereof, to meet our engagements as was originally contemplated— We have taken a city plot at (at the head of navigation for vessels of heavy tonnage) on the most advantageous terms. The proprietors waiting on us for the payment of the plot. until we can realize the money from the Sales, leaving to ourselves a large and liberal net profit. We have been making every exertion, and used all the means at our command, to lay a foundation, that will now begin to enable us to meet our pecuniary engagements, and no doubt in our minds, to the entire satisfaction of all those concerned, if they will but exercise a small degree of patience, and stay a resort to coercive measures, which would kill us in the germ even before we can (by reason of the Season) begin to bud and blossom, in order to bring forth a plentiful yield of fruit. I am with considerations of high respect, your obt. servt. Joseph Smith.” [HC 4:407]
The , to which the foregoing letters relate, includes all the Land lying North of the White Purchase to the , and thence on the South including the best Steam Boat landing— <but is the most sickly part of .>
<27> Friday 27. Elder died at his residence in in the 30th. year of his age, in the full hope of a glorious Resurrection. He was Associate Editor of the Times and Seasons, Colonel in the Nauvoo Legion, and had done much writing for myself and the Church. <See addenda book page 29.> [HC 4:411]
“At a Council of the Quorum of the Twelve <Apostles> at the house of President . , Augt. 31. 1841 for the purpose of taking into consideration the situation of the Church. It was resolved unanimously, that as we have been called upon by the voice of the Conference — — — — — — — to attend to the business of the Church, assist the Trustee in Trust in his arduous duties, attend to the settling of Emigrants &c We sensibly feel the great responsibility that is resting upon us, and will do all in our power to carry out the wishes of the Church and prove ourselves worthy of the trust reposed in us by the brethren. Resolved unanimously that so far as may be practicable we will attend to the Councilling [p. 1223]