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 16> were never brought to an account for their barbarous proceedings, but were winked at, and encouraged, by those in authority. We thought that it was necessary for us, inasmuch as we loved our lives; and did not wish to die by the hand of murderers and assassins; and inasmuch as we loved our families and friends, to deliver ourselves from our enemies, and from that land of tyranny and oppression, and again take our stand among a people [HC 3:320] in whose bosoms dwell those feelings of republicanism and liberty which gave rise to our nation:— Feelings which the Inhabitants of the State of were strangers to— Accordingly we took the advantage of the situation of our guard and took our departure, and that night we traveled a considerable distance— [HC 3:321]
<18 and [Daniel] Shearer left .> Thursday 18. This morning went into the Committee Room, and told the Committee to wind up their affairs, and be off, or their lives would be taken. <> had gone over the on business. Elders and Shearer, were at . Twelve men went to ’s with Loaded Rifles to shoot him. They broke Seventeen Clocks into match wood. They broke tables, smashed in the windows, while (the Judge) looked on and laughed. One Whitaker threw Iron Pots at , one of which hit him on the Shoulder, at which Whitaker jumped and laughed like a mad man. The mob shot down cows while the Girls were milking them, The mob— threatened to send the Committee “to hell, jumping”. and put day light through them”
< was over the river>
The same day, previous to the breaking of the Clocks some of the same company met on the public square in , and asked him if he was a damd Mormon? who replied— “I am a Mormon, “Well God dam you we’ll Blow your Brains out, your God dam Mormon,” and tried to ride over him with their horses, this was in presence of , and others of the Committee.
The brethren gathered up what they could and left in one hour— and the mob staid until they left, then plundered thousands of dollars worth of property which had been left by the brothers and Sisters to help the poor to remove— One mobber rode up and finding no convenient place [HC 3:322] to fasten his horse, shot a cow that was standing near, and while the poor animal was yet struggling in death, he cut a strip of her hide from her nose to the tip of her tail which he tied round a stump, to which he fastened his halter— during the commotion this day a great portion of the records of the Committee, accounts, history &c were destroyed or lost, so that but few definite items can be registered in their place— When the Saints commenced removing from , they shipped as many families and goods as possible at — to go down the &c to , Illinois. This mission was in charge of Elders and , who were appointed by the Committee—
I continued on my journey with my Brethren towards .
Elder appropriated his money to remove the poor from .
The brethren and Sisters who had arrived in were beginning to pen their sufferings and losses in . The statement of Sister [Amanda Barnes] Smith written by her own hand, I will here insert—
“To whom this may Come I do hereby certify that my husband in company with several other families was moving from to . We came to , whilst we were [p. 922]