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.
<September 15> roams, and expatiates in that world, where the spirits of just men made perfect dwell, and where pain and sickness, tribulation and death cannot come. The friends we have lost prior to our late venerable, and lamented Father, were such as rendered life sweet, and in whose society we took great pleasure, and who shed a luster in the several walks of life in which they moved, and to whom we feel endeared by friendship’s sacred ties: Their virtues and kindnesses will long be remembered by the sorrowing widow, the disconsolate husband, the weeping children, the almost distracted and heartbroken parent, and by a large circle of acquaintances and friends. These like the stars in yonder firmament, shone in their several spheres, and filled that station in which they had been called by the providence of God; with honor to themselves and to the church: and we feel to mingle our tears with their surviving relatives. But in this occasion, we realize that we have suffered more than an ordinary bereavement, and consequently we feel the more interested. If ever there was a man who had claims on the affections of <the> community; it was our beloved, but now deceased Patriarch— If ever there was an event calculated to raise the feelings of sorrow in the human breast and cause us to drop the sympathetic tear? it certainly is the present; for truly we can say with the King of Israel, “A Prince and a great man has fallen in Israel.” A man endeared to us by every feeling calculated to entwine around, and adhere to the human heart, by almost indissoluble bonds. A man faithful to his God and to the church in every situation, and under all circumstances through which he was called to pass. Whether in prosperity, surrounded by the Comforts of life, a smiling progeny, and all the enjoyments of the domestic circle; or, when called upon, like the Patriarchs of old, to leave the land of his nativity, to journey in strange lands, and become subject to all the trials and persecutions which have been heaped upon the Saints with a liberal hand, by characters destitute of every principle of morality or religion, alike regardless of the tender offspring, and the aged sire whose silvery locks, and furrowed cheeks ought to have been a sufficient shield from their cruelty: But like the Apostle Paul he could exclaim, (and his life [HC 4:192] and conduct have fully borne out the sentiment) “None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear so that I may finish my course with joy.” The principles of the Gospel were too well established in that breast, and had got too sure a footing there, ever to be torn down, or prostrated by the fierce winds of persecution, the blasts of poverty, or the swollen waves of distress and tribulation. No, thank God, his house was built upon a rock. consequently it stood amid the contending elements, firm and unshaken. The life of our departed Father has indeed been an eventful one, having to take a conspicuous part in the great work of the last days; being designated by the ancient prophets, who once dwelt on this continent, as the Father of him, whom the Lord had promised to raise up in the last days; to lead his people Israel; and by a uniform, consistent and virtuous course, for a long series of years, he has proved himself worthy of such a son, and such a family, by whom he had the happiness of [p. 1095]