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.
<October 28> are — — — Stone. On the south of the river lies the Borough &c. In addition to these were hundreds of churches, chapels, spires and monuments standing in the midst of one universal dense mass of brick and stone buildings; covering about six miles square of ground. While viewing this scenery in a clear day and beholding the streets and bridges crowded with human beings of every rank and station, and with beasts and vehicles of every kind, and the Thames covered with — — — Shipping from the skiff to the man of war, a Prussian traveller (Citizen of Berlin) who was standing by our side, exclaimed “I have travelled over Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, but I have never before found a spot upon the face of the Earth which — — — presented to my view as grand a scenery as the one now lying before us.” This monument is 24 feet higher than Trajans Pillar at Rome; it cost $75,500 The following is inscribed upon one side of the monument in Latin “In the year of Christ 1666, the second day of September, <eastward> from hence, at the distance of two hundred and two feet, the height of this column, about midnight, a most terrible fire broke out, which, driven on by a high wind, not only wasted the adjacent part, but also places very remote, with incredible noise and fury: it consumed 89— churches, the gates of the City, Guildhall, many public structures, hospitals, schools, libraries, a vast number of stately edifices, 13,200 dwelling houses, 400 streets; and <of> 26 wards it utterly destroyed 15 and left 8 others shattered and half burnt. The ruins of the city were 436 acres, from the Tower by the Thames side, to the Temple church: from the North east gate along the City wall to Holborn bridge. To the estates and fortunes of the Citizens it was merciless, but to their lives very favorable, (only eight being lost) That it might in all things resemble the last conflagration of the world, the destruction was sudden, for in a small space of time the same City was seen most flourishing, and reduced to nothing three days after, when the fatal fire had baffled all human councils and endeavors; the opinion of all, as it were by the will of heaven, it stopped, and on every side was extinguished.” On the 1st. day of September we visited the Thames Tunnel, by descending about 80 feet into — — — — — the earth on the south side of the river, and entering the archway on the left which was finished 1120 feet and was beautifully lighted up with gas; we walked through it under the Thames, with the River and British shipping over our heads: in the middle of the <tunnel> there <are> only about 15 feet between the top of the arch and the bed of the river— there are two archways <each> 22 feet high, the whole length of the Tunnel; which afford<s> free communication from one shore to the other. This is — — — — one of the most stupendous works of modern times and truly shows that man hath sought out many inventions. On the 24th. of August we visited St. Pauls — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Cathedral <which> was first built by St. Augustine in the year 610. It was destroyed by fire in 961 and rebuilt the following year; it was not till the reign of Athelstan that became the Metropolis of England and it was to this Prince, more perhaps, than to any of his predecessors, that the Cathedral of St. Paul was indebted for its permanent establishment and pre-eminence. In 1086 this [p. 1120]