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.
<December 10 Memorial to Legislature> each one answered that he could not consent to comply with their propositions. One of the Mob replied that he was sorry, for the work of destruction would commence immediately. In a short time, the , which was a two story brick building, was assailed by the mob and soon thrown down, and with it much valuable property destroyed. Next they went to the for the same purpose, but , one of the owners, agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design. Their next move was their dragging of from his house and family to the public square, where, surrounded by hundreds, they partially stripped him of his clothes, and tarred and feathered him from head to foot— A man by the name of was also tarred at the same time— This was Saturday, and the mob agreed to meet the following Tuesday— to accomplish their purpose of driving or massacreing the Society. Tuesday came, and the mob came also, bearing with them a red flag in token of blood. Some two or three of the principal men of the Society offered their lives, if that would appease the wrath of the Mob, so that the rest of the Society might dwell in peace upon their lands. The answer was, that unless the Society would leave “en masse,” every man should die for himself. Being in a defenceless situation, to save a general massacre, it was agreed that one half of the Society should leave the by the first of the next January, and the remainder by the first of the following April. A treaty was entered into and ratified, and all things went on smoothly for a while. But some time in October the wrath of the mob began again to be kindled, insomuch, that they shot at some of our people, whipped others, and threw down their houses, and committed many other depredations; indeed the society of Saints were harassed for some time both day and night— their houses were brickbatted and broken open— women and children insulted &c. The of A. S. Gilbert & Co. was broken open, ransacked, and some if the goods strewed in the Streets. These abuses, with many others of a very aggravated nature, so stirred up the indignant feelings of our people, that <when> a party of them, say about 30, met a company of the mob of about double their number,—— a skirmish took place in which some two or three of the mob and one of our people. were killed. This raised as it were the whole in arms, and nothing would satisfy them, but an im[HC 3:218]mediate surrender of the arms of our people, and they forthwith to leave the — Fifty one guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day. The next day parties of the mob, from 30 to 70, headed by Priests, went from house to house, threatning women and children with death if they were not off before they returned. This so alarmed them, that they fled in different directions; some took shelter in the woods, while others wandered in the prairies till their feet bled. In the mean time the weather being very cold, their sufferings in other respects were very great. The Society made their escape to as fast as they possibly could, where the people received them kindly, and administer to their wants. After the Society had left , their buildings amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise— destroyed, and much of their crops, as well as furniture, stock, &c— which if properly estimated, would make a large sum, for which they have not as yet received any [p. 862]