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> are also satisfied. I have handed your request to the Editor of the “Times and Seasons”, who will forward you the desired papers. I am glad that settled with you the 2.500 dollars note, but sorry that you suffered yourself to lose in the sale of the land you had of him. As regards the Cooks Mills Tavern stand and the one hundred and thirty seven acres of pine land which you propose to allow the Church three thousand dollars for, I have to say in reply, that I have consulted, not only my own feelings as “Sole Trustee in Trust,” for the Church, but also the feelings of those of the Church whose opinions I can always rely upon in such matters, and the conclusion is that thirty two hundred dollars is the least, the property ought to be sold for. You can, therefore have it for three thousand two hundred, which is considerably less than it cost the Church; we are willing to make a partial sacrifice in the property, but under the circumstances, think that you can afford to give us two hundred dollars more than you proposed— The health of our place is at this time pretty good, and we hope it may continue to improve, with the improvement of the I remain, very respectfully yours &c Joseph Smith.” [HC 4:469]
<11> Saturday 11. late this evening while sitting in Council with the Twelve, in my new on Water Street, I directed , President of the Twelve <Apostles> to go immediately and instruct the building Committee in their duty, and forbid their receiving any more property for the building of the until they received it <from the Trustee in Trust> and if the Committee did not give heed to the instruction, and attend to their duty, to put them in the way so to do.
Elder <has> left for ; it not being — — — — — considered unnecessary for him to tarry there any longer
Since I have been engaged in laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ <of Latter Day Saints> I have been prevented in various ways from continuing my Journal. and the History, in a manner satisfactory to myself, or in justice to the cause. Long imprisonments, vexatious and long continued Law Suits— The treachery of some of my Clerks; the death of others; and the poverty of myself and brethren from a continued plunder and driving, have prevented my handing down to posterity a connected memorandum of events, desirable to all lovers of truth. Yet I have continued to keep up a Journal in the best manner my circumstances would allow, and dictate for my history from time to time, as I have had oppertunity, so that the labors and suffering of the first Elders and Saints of this last kingdom might not wholly be lost to the world.
<13> Monday 13. I appointed Recorder for the , and my private Secretary, and General Clerk, and he commenced his labors in my new Office in the .
Some time in the fall of 1839, Daniel S. Witter of the [HC 4:470] Steam Mill at solicited the First Presidency of the Church to make a Settlement on the School Section No. 16. one mile South of : and the Solicitations were continued by D. S. Witter [p. 1260]