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 1> The Town of Baja in the County of Baes, on the river Danube was almost totally destroyed by fire, about two thousand houses were burnt, with the palace several churches, and all the great Corn magazines leaving about sixteen thousand inhabitants destitute— The Plague is raging in the East, at Silistria, Broussa, Alexandria, Alleppo &c, and Wars and Rumors of Wars in Spain, Mexican, and South American Governments, French and Arabs in Africa, Russia and Circassia, Egypt, England and the East Indies, and the Canada Revolution, all betoken the fulfillment of Prophecy.
<7.> Thursday 7. The City of Natches was this day, <to a great extent> destroyed, almost in a moment, by a Whirlwind, Storm and Tempest, it is reported Sixty boats sunk, Houses and Churches blown to atoms, more than three hundred persons killed, and $5,000,000 of property destroyed, nearly the whole Country on the for 1100 miles from its mouth is under water—
“Lugwardine, Herefordshire, England, May 7. 1840 Brother Joseph Smith Through the mercy of our Heavenly Father I am alive and in pretty good health; better than I should have been had I remained in . I trust that you and family are well and I ask my Heavenly Father that we may live for ever; but not to be chased about by Mobs, but live to enjoy each other’s Society in peace. I long to see the faces of my friends again in that once more. It is better for me to be here, because the Lord has called me to this great work, but it is hard for me to be parted from my old friends who I have proved to be willing to lay down their lives for each other. I feel as though the Lord would grant me the privilege of sometimes seeing my old friends in give my best wishes to your . I remember her in my prayers and also and . I remember [HC 4:125] the time when I first saw and the trials <she> had when the work of the Lord first commenced in her family. I beg to be remembered to and family also to and family and to all the faithful in Christ. The brethren that have come from are all well and doing well. I want to ask some questions, shall we print the Book of Mormon in this Country immediately? they are calling for them from every quarter. the duties are so high on books, we need not think of bringing them from ; another question, is the book of Doctrine and Covenants to be printed just as it is now, to go to the nations of the Earth, and shall we give it to them as quick as we can? or what shall we do? Will the twelve have to be together to do business as a quorum? or shall they do business in the name of the Church? Why I ask this, is for my own satisfaction, if the Lord has a word for us, for one I am willing to receive it. I wish you to write as soon as you receive this and let me know about the book of Mormon whether we shall proceed to publish it immediately or not, or whether we shall do according to our feelings. If I should act according to my feelings. I should hand the Book of Mormon to this people as quick as I could. The people are very different in this [p. 1056]