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.
<August 5> Potteries while we were there. We passed through Westbromwick and Birmingham and found numbers who were anxiously wishing for some of the Elders to visit that region and labor among them. We arrived in Ledbury, Herefordshire, July 22, and — — have spent about two weeks in visiting the Churches through this region, and I am happy to inform you, that we have found the Saints universally rejoicing in the truth, and the work progressing upon every hand. Elder <Thos.> Richardson has baptized about forty since he came, and Elder Wm. Kay about twenty; they are both much blessed in their labors. Elder [Thomas] Kington is laboring constantly in this wide field, which is under his care; and he, with the Elders and Priests generally through<out> this region are blessed with many souls as seals of their ministry. We baptized forty on Sunday last in this region, making 250 — — — — — — since the Conference The Churches now number in this region about 800, and appear in a very prosperous state. We are expecting every hour, and soon after his arrival we shall leave the Saints in this region, for the purpose of visiting the City of and warning the Inhabitants thereof— ”— [HC 4:176]
“ Hancock Co. Ill: Aug 8. 1840— Dear Sir— Yours of the 25th. ultimo addressed to and myself is received, for which you have our thanks, and to which I shall feel great pleasure in replying Although I have not the pleasure of your acquaintance, yet from the kindness manifested towards our people when in bondage and oppression, and from the frank and noble mindedness breathed in your letter, I am brought to the conclusion that you are a friend to suffering humanity and truth. to those who have suffered so much abuse and borne the cruelties and insults of wicked men so long on account of those principles which we have been instructed to teach to the world, a feeling of sympathy and kindness is something like the refreshing breeze and cooling stream at the present season of the year and are I assure you duly appreciated by us. It would afford me much pleasure to see you at this place, and from the desire you express in your letter to move to this place I hope I shall soon have that satisfaction. I have no doubt you would be of great service to this community in practicing your profession as well as those other abilities of which you are in possession. Since to devote your time and abilities in the cause of truth and a suffering people may not be the means of exalting you in the eyes of this generation or securing you the riches of the world, yet, by so doing you may rely on the approval of Jehovah “That blessing which maketh rich and addeth no sorrow.” Through the tender mercies of our God we have escaped the hands of those who sought our overthrow, and have secured locations in this , and in the Territory of . Our principle location is at this place, (formerly ) which is beautifully situated on the banks of the , immediately above the lower rapids and is probably the best and most beautiful site for a City on the — It has a gradual ascent from the nearly a mile, then a fine level and fertile Prairie, a situation in [HC 4:177] every respect adapted to [p. 1088]