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.
<April 4 Joseph’s Epistle from > and indefeazible rights, they are things that pertain to this life, therefore all are alike interested, they make our responsibilities one towards another in matters of corruptible things while the former principles do not destroy the latter but bind us stronger and make our responsibilities not only one to another, but unto God also, hence we say the that the Constitution of the is a glorious Standard it is founded in the Wisdom of God. it is a heavenly banner, it is to all those who are privileged with the Sweets of its liberty like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and a weary land, it is like a great tree under whose branches men from every clime can be shielded from the burning rays of an <a> inclement Sun. We brethren are deprived of the protection of this glorious principle by the cruelty of the cruel by those who only look for the time being for pasturage like the beasts of the field only to fill themselves, and forget that the Mormons as well as the Presbyterians, and those of every other class and description have equal rights to partake of the fruits of the great tree of our national liberty, but notwithstanding we see what we see, and we feel what we feel, and know what we know. Yet that fruit is no less precious and delicious to our taste, we cannot be weaned from the milk, neither can we be driven from the breast, neither will we deny our religion because of the hand of oppression, but we will hold on until death, we say that God is true, that the Constitution of the is true, that the Bible is true, that the Book of Mormon is true, that the book of Covenants are true, that Christ is true, that the ministering angels sent forth from God are true and that we know that we have an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God a consolation which our oppressors cannot [HC 3:304] feel when fortune or fate shall lay its iron hand on them. as it has on us. Now we ask what is man? Remember brethren that time and chance happeneth to all Men. We shall continue our reflections in our next. We subscribe ourselves your sincere friends and brethren in the bonds of the Everlasting Gospel Prisoners of Jesus Christ for the sake of the gospel and the Saints. We pronounce the blessing of heaven upon the heads of the Saints, who seek to serve God with undivided hearts in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Joseph Smith Jr, , , , .” [HC 3:305]
Brothers and called on who was mad at their having reported the case to the and said he “I could have done all the business for you properly, if you had come to me, and I would have signed the petition for all except Joe, and he is not fit to live.” I bid brothers & to be of good cheer, for we shall be delivered but no arm but God can deliver us now. Tell the Brethren to be of good cheer and get the <Saints> away as fast as possible. <brothers and were not permitted to enter the Prison, and all the communication we had with them, was thro’ the grate of the dungeon.> The brethren left on their return to —