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 6> myself and fellow prisoners off to , under a guard of about ten men commanded by Samuel Tillery, Deputy Jailor of . We were promised that we should go through , which was directly on our route, which our friends at that place knew, and were expecting us, but instead of fulfilling their promise, they took us round the and out of the direct course Eighteen miles, far from habitations, where every opportunity presented for a general massacre.
<Committee> This evening the Committee met in Council, prayer by . The business of the Council being the order of the Leaders of the Mob delivered this day to the Saints in this to leave before Friday next [HC 3:308] Resolved to hire all the Teams, that can be hired, to move the families of the Saints out of the to Tenny’s Grove— Resolved to send immediately to for assistance from the Saints there in teams &c— The mission of Elders and to was deferred for the present.—
<7> Sunday April 7 the Committee met in Council at ’s Brother made a report if his visit to the Judges at — A letter from the Prisoners at was read and and were appointed to see Mr. Hughes and get him to go to , and tend the Sittings of the Court there—
We continued our travels across the Prairie, while the Brethren at anxious for our welfare, gave a man Thirty dollars to convey a letter to us at , and return an answer—
<8> Monday 8. After a tedious journey, for our long confinement had enfeebled our bodily powers, we arrived in , about a Mile <Arrival at > from — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — where we were delivered into the hands of William Morgan, Sheriff of with his guard, William Bowman, , and John Pogue— The Guard returned immediately, but became divided, or got lost on their way, and a part of them arrived in after dark, and got caught in the fence, and calling for help— went to their assistance and took them to the tavern, from them he got a letter I had written the Committee, informing them of our arrival at
<9 Trial at > Tuesday 9. Our trial commenced before a drunken grand jury. presiding Judge as drunk as the Jury, for they were all drunk together. Elder had been despatched by the Committee to visit us. <and bring a hundred dollars that was sent by , as we were destitute of means at that time—> and leaving [HC 3:309] this morning, and swimming several <streams> he arrived among us in the afternoon, and spent the evening in our Company— brought a written copy of a Statute, which had passed the Legislature giving us the privilege if a change of venue on our own affidavit— arrived from Mill Port, and was favorable to our escape, from the persecution we were enduring, and spent the evening with us <in> prison, and we had as pleasant a time as such circumstances would permit, for we were as happy as the happiest the Spirit buoyed us above our trials, and we rejoiced in each others Society. [p. 914]