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.
<July 4> were seen rushing after us, some on horseback, and some on foot, prepared with dogs, guns, and whatever came to hand. But the flag of Liberty with its Eagle, still floated on high, in the distance, and under its banner our nerves seemed to strengthen at every step. We gained the horses, mounted, and dashed into the Wilderness, each his own way. After a few jumps of my horse I was hailed by an armed man at pistol shot distance, crying, “dam you, stop, of I’ll shoot you” I rushed onward deeper in the forest, while the cry was repeated in close pursuit, crying, “dam you, stop, or I’ll shoot you”, at every step, till at length it died away in the distance. I plunged a mile into the forest— came to a halt— tied my horse in a thicket— went a distance, and climbed a tree, to await the approaching darkness. Being so little used to exercise, I fainted through over exertion, and remained so faint for near an hour, that I could not get down from the Tree. <But calling on the Lord he strengthened me, and I came down from the Tree> But my horse had got loose and gone. I then made my way on foot for several days and nights, principally without food, and scarcely suffering myself to be seen. After five days of dreadful suffering with fatigue and hunger, I crossed the , and found myself once more in a land of Freedom.”
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Mr. Phelps made his escape also, but was retaken, [HC 3:401] and carried back. continued in the prison, he had apostatized and turned traitor to the others [HC 3:402]
<7 Farewell of the Twelve> Sunday 7. I was at the meeting held in the open air, as a large assemblage was expected to listen to the farewell addresses of the Twelve who were then about to take their departure on this most important mission, namely, to the Nations of the Earth and the Islands of the Sea. Elder being the first of the Twelve present, opened the meeting by addressing a few words of an introductory nature, after which, singing and prayer, when [HC 4:1] delivered a very interesting discourse on the subject of the Book of Mormon, recapitulating in short terms, the principles of a former discourse on the same subject, and afterwards proceeded to read portions from the Bible and Book of Mormon concerning the best Criterions, whereby to judge of its authenticity. And then went on to show that no imposter would ever attempt to make such promises as are contained on pages 541. and 34th. which he did in a very satisfactory manner, and then bore testimony— Afternoon the meeting was again opened by prayer &c Elder spoke on the subject of this dispensation— The other Angel which John saw, having the everlasting gospel to preach &c— he then bore [p. 963]