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.
<March 21> the privilege of voting as a free Citizen I moved to , bought land and opened a good farm, and lived in peace until the Summer and fall of 1838, when mobs arose in the Counties round about, and I with the rest was obliged to take up arms in self defence, for the cry was, that mob law should prevail, if we stood against them, until the Army came and took us all Prisoners of War— I with the rest was obliged to sign a deed of trust at the point of the sword— I with sixty others was selected out and marched to in Ray County by the command of , where they kept us a number of weeks, pretending to try us as treasoners and murderers; at length I obtained my liberty and returned to my family in , and I found that there was no safety there, for there was no law, but all a scene of robbing, and plundering, and stealing, they were about to take me again and I was obliged to leave my family and flee to , in about two months my family arrived having suffered much abuse and loss of health and property; soon after the arrival of my family, my son a young man died, and I attribute his death to the cruel barbarity of the mob of , he being a prisoner among them and having suffered much because of them— my Father was a soldier, and served in the revolutionary war under the great Washington, but I have not had protection on my own lands and I have not been permitted to see my farm in Missouri in seven years— Soldiers were stationed or quartered in different parts of , and they treated us roughly, threatening to shoot us, and making use of any thing they pleased, such as burning house timbers and rails and garden fences, and stealing and plundering what they pleased. when I was at a prisoner before , we sent for many witnesses and when they came, they were taken and cast into prison with us, and we were not permitted to have any witnesses. the day I came out of Prison, they compelled me to sign a writing which was not true, or remain in Prison— ” Sworn to before J.P.
Thus I have given a few of the multitude of Affidavits, which might be given to substantiate the facts of our persecution and Death in .
When the brethren left , [HC 4:73] they were poor, having been plundered of every thing valuable by mobs, much of it was done under the eye of the Government Officers according to the foregoing affidavits— and all by the sanction of the State of , as the acts of her Legislature testify; and being so numerous they were obliged to scatter over the State of and different States, to get bread and clothing— so that but few accounts against could be collected without unreasonable exertions— About 491 Individuals gave in their claims against which I presented to Congress— amounting to about $1.381.044.51½ Cents— leaving a multitude more of similar bills hereafter to be presented, which, if not settled immediately will ere long amount to a handsome sum, increasing by compound interest.— [HC 4:74]