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.
<March 2> I read the proof of the Times and Seasons as Editor for the first time No. 9. Vol. 3. in which is the commencement of the Book of Abraham, Paid taxes to Mr. Bagby, in the general business , for and purposes but refused to pay the taxes on the City and Town of as the demand was illegal, there being no such place known in law; the City and Town of having been included in the City plot of , but continued by our enemies on the Tax list for the purpose of getting more money from the Saints, I commenced a settlement with on the Estate of his Father and continued in my till nine in the evening, having received a visit from of .
<3.> Thursday 3. I attended Council in the general business (over the ) at nine o’clock A.M. <¶> In the afternoon, continued the Settlement with , but finally failed to effect any thing, except to get Newel’s note. refusing to give up the papers to me, which he had received of his , the same being Church property, although I presented him Deeds, Mort[HC 4:542]gages and Paper to the amount of some thousands against his more than he had against the Church. I also wrote Esqre. of in reply to his letter of the “24th. of January” offering him one hundred dollars per acre for his Twenty acres of Land in this , lying some where between the on the North and Galland Purchase on the South, or to take an agency to sell the same.
<4> Friday 4. At my exhibiting the Book of Abraham in the original To Brother so that he might take the size of the several plates or Cuts and prepare the Blocks for the Times and Seasons, and also gave instruction concerning the arrangement of the writing on the large cut, illustrating the principles of Astronomy, with other general business.
<5> Saturday 5. Attended the City Council, and spoke at considerable length on the powers and privileges of our City Charter, among other business of importance, the Office of Registrar of Deeds was established in the City of and I was chosen Registrar by the City Council.
<7> Monday 7 At the general business , Peter Melling the Patriarch from England, brought to the Cash 13.37½ and clothing $65 from and of England; I transacted much general business, and wrote the as follows [HC 4:543]
“Editor’s Office, , Ill, March 7th. 1842 . Respected Brother— I have just been perusing your correspondence with Doctor Dyer on the subject of American Slavery, and the students of the Quincy Mission Institute, and it makes my blood boil within me to reflect upon the injustice cruelty and oppression, of the rulers of the people— when will these things cease to be, and the Constitution and the Laws again bear rule? I fear for my beloved — mob violence, injustice, and cruelty appear to be the darling attributes of , and no man taketh it to heart! O tempora! O, mores! What [p. 1286]
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 5 Mar. 1842, 67–68.
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book / Nauvoo City Council. “A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841,” ca. 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3435.