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 26> Mr. Brown hired a carriage, and we rode into Columbia. It was about Sun set on Sunday evening, and as the Carriage and our armed attendants drove through the Streets, we were gazed upon with astonishment by hundreds of Spectators who thronged the Streets, and looked out at the windows, doors &c anxious to get a glimpse of the strange beings called Mormons. On our arrival we were immediately hurried to the prison, without going to a tavern for refreshment, although we had traveled a long summer day without any thing to eat— When unloosed from our fetters, we were ushered immediately from the Carriage into the Jail, and the next moment a huge trap door was opened, and down we went into a most dismal dungeon, which was full of cobwebs and filth above, below, and all around the walls, having stood empty for near two years. Here was neither beds, nor chairs, nor water, nor food, nor friends, nor any one on whom we might call, even for a drink of cold water; for Brown and all others had withdrawn to go where they could refresh themselves. When thrust into this dungeon, we were nearly ready to faint with hunger, and thirst, and weariness. We walked the room for a few moments, and then sank down upon the floor in despondency, and wished to die; for like Elijah of old, if the Lord had enquired, “What dost thou here?” we could have replied, “Lord, they have killed the Prophets, and thrown down thine altars, and have driven out all they Saints from the Land, and we only are left to <tell> thee; and they seek our lives, to take them away; and now, therefore, let us die.” When we had been in the dungeon some time, our new jailer handed down some provisions, but by this time, I was too faint to eat; I tasted a few mouthfuls, and then suddenly the trap door opened, and some chairs were handed to us, and the new Sheriff, Mr. Martin, and his deputy, Mr. Hamilton, entered our dungeon, and talked so kindly to us, that our spirits again revived in some measure. This night we slept cold and uncomfortable; having but little bedding, Next morning we were suffered to come out of the dungeon, and the liberty of the upper room was given us through the day ever afterwards. We now began to receive kind treatment from our jailor, and from our new Sheriff; for it was Mr. Brown that had caused all our neglect [HC 3:365] and sufferings the previous evening. Our jail in Columbia was a large wooden block building with two apartments; one was occupied by the jailor and his family, and the other by the prisoners.
<Letter to M. Bigler 27> Monday 27. I was at home Hancock Co. Ill. 27 May 1839—
“Father Biggler— Dear Sir— We have thought well to write you by on the subject of our purchase of lands here, in order to stir up your pure mind to a remembrance of the Situation in which we have been placed by the Act of the Councils of the Church having appointed us a Committee to transact business here for the Church. We have as is known to the Church in general, made purchases, and entered into Contracts and promised payments of monies for all which we now stand responsible. Now as money seems [p. 946]