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 24> practised the same deeds, and in order to finish the controversy, said and affirmed that I both taught and acted in the same manner but publicly proclaimed against it in consequence of the prejudice of the people and fear of trouble in my own house. By this means he accomplished his designs, he seduced a respectable female with lying and subjected her to public infamy and disgrace. Not contented with what he had already done he made the attempt on others and by using the same language seduced them also. About the early part of July 1841 I received a letter from Pa., in it was contained information setting forth that [HC 5:42] said had a Wife and two or three Children then living. this I read to him and he acknowledged it was true. A very short time after this he attempted to destroy himself by taking poison but being discovered before it had taken sufficient affect, and proper antidotes administered he — recovered. The impression made upon the minds of the public by this event, was, that he was so ashamed of his base conduct that he took this course to escape the censures of a justly indignant community. It might have been supposed that after this he would have broken off his adulterous proceedings, but to the contrary the public consternation had scarcely ceased before he was again deeply involved in the same wicked proceedings, and continued until a knowledge of the fact reached my ears. I immediately charged him with the whole circumstance and he candidly acknowledged the truth of the whole. The foregoing facts were established on oath before an Alderman of the the affidavits are now in my possession. In order that the truth might be fully established I asked to testify before an Alderman whether I had given him any cause for such aggravating conduct. He testified that I never taught him that illicit intercourse with females was under any circumstances justifiable, neither did he ever hear me teach any thing but the strictest principles of righteousness and virtue. This affidavit is also in my possession. I have also a similar affidavit taken before the City Council and signed by the members of the Council. After these things transpired, and finding that I should resist all such wicked conduct, and knowing that he could no longer maintain himself as a respectable citizen, he has seen fit to leave and that very abruptly. I have been credibly informed that he is colleaguing with some of our former cruel persecutors the Missourians and that he is threatning destruction upon us; and under these circumstances I consider it my duty to give you information on the subject that a knowledge of his proceedings may be before you in due Season. It can be proven by hundreds of witnesses that he is one of the basest of liars and that his whole routine of proceedings while among us has been of the basest kind. He also stated here that he had resigned his Commission as Major General to the , whether this be true or not I have no knowledge I wish to be informed on the subject, that we may know how to act in regard to the Legion. A short time ago I was told by a friend of mine (not a member [p. 1347]