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 22> On my arrival at , I found the Brethren had been diligent in preparing for an investigation of their wrongs in , as the following letters will show.
“ Iowa Territory April 22. 1839 Dear Sir— I herewith enclose two letters, one addressed to the of the , and one to Governor [Wilson] Shannon of — As the object sought by you is an investigation into the facts connected with your misfortunes, I have thought it the most prudent course to refrain from an expression of an individual opinion in the matter, relative to the merits or demerits of the Controversy. I sincerely hope that you may succeed in obtaining a general investigation into the cause and extent of your sufferings, and that you may obtain from the Government that attention which is your due as Citizens of the . Very Respectfully Your obt. Servt. . Doct. ”
“ Iowa Territory, April 22. 1839. To his Excellency . President of the . Sir. I have the honor to introduce to your acquaintance, the bearer, Doct., , who was for many years a Citizen of the State of , and a firm supporter of the administration of the General Government. , visits (as I am informed) as the representative of a Community of people called Mormons, to solicit from the Government of the an investigation into the causes that led to their expulsion from the State of , together with the various circumstances connected with that extraordinary affair. I think it due that people to state that they had for a number of years a community established in , and that while in that , [HC 3:333] they were (as far as I ever heard) believed to be an industrious inoffensive people, and I have no recollection of having ever heard of any of them being charged in that as violators of the laws— With sincere respect I am, Your obt. servt. ”
“ Iowa Territory. April 22. 1839. To his Excellency Wilson Shannon— Governor of the State of — Sir. I have the honor to introduce to your acquaintance, Doctor, who was for many years a Citizen of , wishes to obtain from the General Government of the , an investigation into the causes that led to the expulsion of the people called Mormons from the State of , together with all the facts connected with that extraordinary affair. This investigation it appears to me, is due them as citizens of the , as well as to the nation at large. Any assistance that you can render the towards accomplishing that desirable object will be gratefully received and duly appreciated by your sincere friend and humble servant ”
<23> “. Mo. April 23. 1839. Sir. The Summit end of Mr. Benson’s Mill Dam was carried away by the late Freshet, and unless repaired, it will all go the next. The Committee have gone, and if would send [p. 928]