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.
<February 20> of the matter. and that the Committee should have power to send for persons, papers &c &c. In my remarks I stated that an article of the Constitution was violated in not granting compulsory process for witnesses in behalf of the prisoners— and that the main evidence adduced, upon which they were committed (as I understood) was from ; who once belonged to our society, and was compelled to swear as suited them best, in order to save his life; that I knew him to be a man, whose character was the [HC 4:82] worst, I ever knew <in> all my associations or intercourse with mankind— and that I had evidence by affidavits before them of five or six respectable men, to prove that all he swore to, was false. Brethren and Sisters I want your special prayers, that God may give me wisdom to manage this case according to his will; and that he will protect me <from> our foes, both publicly and privately— Yours in the bonds of love— —”
“, Feb. 21. 1840— Dear Brother— I have just returned again from the Committee Room, and made some remarks, to which I replied— is much more mild and reasonable (mostly perhaps from Policy) than ; who related a long lingo of stuff, which he said was proven before the Legislature in , which amounted to about this, that Joseph Smith gave the Mormons liberty to trespass on their neighbor’s property; also told them, that it all belonged to them; as they were Israelites. upon the strength of this, they became the aggressors. I replied that the people in their declaration of causes that induced them to unite in order to drive the Mormons— The crime of stealing or trespassing was not mentioned; and there was no Docket; either Clerk’s or Justices that could shew it, in , , or Counties— and that no man — — — ever heard such teaching or doctrine from Joseph Smith or any other Mormon; that we held to no such doctrine neither believed in any such thing— I mentioned some things contained in our book of Doctrine and Covenants; Government and laws in General. Told them we had published long ago our belief on that subject— some things I recollected, which were, that all persons should obey the laws of the Government under which they lived, and that ecclesiastical power should not be exercised to control our civil rights in any way; particularly that ecclesiastical power should only be used in the Church; and then no further than fellowship was concerned— I think they injured their cause to day— There is another appointment for them on the morrow at 10 o’clock— Their friend they said was sick, consequently could not attend to day— said he thought it would be time enough to take it up in Congress when they could not get justice from the , and that he was confident, there was a disposition in the State of to do us justice, should we apply; That the reason of their refusing to investigate before, was, the trials of the Prisoners were pending. And further said (when speaking of the trials before ) that he understood from [HC 4:83] Gentlemen that the prisoners commended the for his clemency and fair dealing towards them; and acknowledged [p. 1018]