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.
<May 6> for “inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me” Yours in the bonds of the everlasting Gospel, though no longer a prisoner in the hands of the Missourians— And still faithful with the Saints— Joseph Smith Jr. Chairman.
<8> Wednesday 8. I was preparing to remove to , Counselling the brethren &c
“ Illinois May 8. 1839. To all whom it may Concern— The undersigned Citizens of , Illinois take great pleasure in recommending to the favorable notice of the Public, the bearer of this . is connected with the Church of “Mormons” or “Latter Day Saints” and makes a tour to the east for the purpose of raising means to relieve the sufferings of this unfortunate people, stripped as they have been, of their all, and now scattered throughout this part of the . We say to the Charitable and benevolent, you need have no fear but your contributions in aid of humanity will be properly applied if intrusted to the hands of , He is authorised by his Church to act in the premises, and we most cordially bear testimony to his piety and worth as a Citizen. very respectfully yours— Samuel Holmes, Merchant; J. N. Morris, Attorney at law & Editor of Argus; , Governor State of ; , W. S. Senator, L. V. Ralston, M.D; Samuel Leach [Leech], Receiver Public Monies; Hirum Rodgers, M.D; J. T. Holmes, Merchant; Nick, Wren, County Clerk; C. M. Woods, Clerk of Circuit Court, Illinois.” [HC 3:348]
“, Illinois, May 8. 1839 To his Excellency the of the — The heads of Departments— and all to whom this may be shown— The undersigned Citizens of , Illinois, beg leave to introduce to you the bearer Revd. . is a Divine connected with the Church of “Latter Day Saints” and having enjoyed his acquaintance for some time past, we take great pleasure in recommending him to your favorable notice as a man of piety, and a valuable citizen. any representation he may make touching the object of his mission to your City may be implicitly relied on. Very respectfully yours Saml. Holmes, , , J. N. Morris, Hiram Rogers, J. T. Holmes, Nickl. Wren, C. M. Woods.”
<10 Joseph at > Friday 10. I arrived with my family at the White Purchase and took up my residence in a small Log House on the bank of the , about one mile South of hoping that I and my friends may here find a resting place for a little season at least—
<[Samuel] Leech’s letter> “ Illinois 10th. May 1839 The Bearer the Revd. is a member of a society of people called “Mormons” or “Latter Day Saints” who have been driven from the State of , by order of the of that , and [p. 936]