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.
<June 23. 1842> <I addressed the following letter to Mass:>
“— June 23. 1842. Sister . Agreeable to your request, in the midst of all the bustle, and business of the day, and the care of all the Churches both at home and abroad, I now embrace a moment to address a few words to you thinking peradventure it may be a consolation to you, to know that you too, are remembered by me as well as all the Saints, my heart’s desire and prayer to God is all the day long for all the saints, and in an especial and particular manner for those whom he hath chosen and anointed to bear the heaviest burthens in the heat of the day among which number is your received, a man in whom I have the most implicit confidence and trust, you say I have got him, so I have, in the which I rejoice, for he has done me great good and taken a great burthen off my shoulders since his arrival in , never did I have a greater intimacy with a man than with him, may the blessings of Elijah crown his head for ever and ever. we are about to send him in a few days after his dear family, he shall have our prayers fervently for his safe arrival to their embraces, and may God speed his journey and return him quickly to our Society, and I want you beloved Sister to be a general in this matter, in helping him along. which I know you will, he will be able to teach you many things which you never have heard, you may have implicit confidence in the same. I have heard much about you by the Twelve and in consequence of the great friendship that exists between your and me, and the information they all have given me of your virtue and strong attachment to the truth of the work of God in the last days I have formed a very strong brotherly friendship and attachment for you in the bonds of the Gospel, Although I never saw you I shall be exceedingly glad to see you face to face, and be able to administer in the name of the Lord, some of the words of life to your consolation and I hope that you may be kept steadfast in the faith even unto the end, I want you should give my love and tender regard to ’s family, and those who are friendly enough to me to enquire after me; in that region of Country, not having but little time to apportion to any one, and having [p. 6 [addenda]]