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.
<February> prisoners, but the hardness of their hearts would not admit of so charitable a deed— but they continued to importune at the feet of the Judges, and also to visit the prisoners, and no one of the ruling part of the community disputed the innocence of the prisoners, but said, in consequence of the fury of the mob, that even handed justice could not be administered, they were therefore compelled to abandon the idea of importuning at the feet of the Judges, and leave the prisoners in the hands of God.
“Mr. . Dear Sir— Yours of the 11th. inst. was received yesterday, I perceive that it had been written before your brethren visited my house— I had also wrote to before I received yours, and which is herewith also sent. I wish here to remark that about 10 or 15 houses or cabins can be had in this neighborhood, and several farms may be rented here. On the Half breed lands I think that more than [HC 3:265] 50 families can be accommodated with places to dwell in, but not a great quantity of cultivated land, as the improvements on that tract are generally new, there are however several farms which can also be rented. Since writing to , I have conversed with a friend of mine, who has also conversed with of in relation to your Church and people. says, that the people called Mormons, were good citizens of the State of , and that he respects them now, as good and virtuous Citizens, and feels disposed to treat them as such. I wish also to say through you, to your people, that Isaac Van Allen Esqre. the Attorney General of , is a personal, and tried friend of mine, and I feel fully authorized from a conversation which I have had with him on the subject to say, that I can assure you of his utmost endeavors to protect you from insult or violence. I will here repeat what I have wrote to , that I do believe, that under a territorial form of government which is directly connected with the general government of the , your Church will be better secured against the capriciousness of public opinion, than under a state government, where murder, rapine and robbery are admirable traits in the character of a demagogue: and where the greatest villains often reach the highest offices. I have wrote to on the subject, and when I receive his answer, I will communicate it to your Church. I desire very much to know how your captive brethren in are faring— I should like to know if Joseph Smith Jr. is at liberty, or not, and what his prospects are. I shall be at , our Seat, during the fore part of next week, and soon after that (perhaps the next week following) I expect to go to I.T. when I expect to see the and converse with him on the subject, I will probably be at home from the 6th. until the 12th. of March— I shall be pleased to see you, or any of your people, at my house at any time, when you can make it convenient. It is now necessary that something definite should be done in relation to renting farms, as the season for commencing such operations is fast approaching us. A Mr. Whitney a Merchant in is owner or proprietor of several farms in this vicinity, and it might be well to see him on the subject— I wish to serve your cause in any matter which providence may afford me the opportunity of doing, and I therefore [p. 887]