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.
<March 9 Committee in > then applied for a paper which had been prepared, and signed by several of the citizens of , describing our situation as a people, and calling upon the humane in and elsewhere to assist them in affording us relief. The paper being presented by Br. Ephraim Owen, was then read, and spoke at length upon the subject, and proposed that a committee of two of the Brethren be appointed by the voice of the meeting to go to &c on such business. The motion was then put and carried and Brother [Wandle] Mace appointed as one of said Committee, and Br Ephraim Owen the other—
It was proposed that Br. (who is now in ) be appointed as Assistant— After the motion was put and before it was seconded, spoke of its inconsistency, and stated as a better mode, that all the Saints in , or such of them as the Committee may think proper, be called upon by them to assist them. The motion was then withdrawn and this business closed— Some of the Committee who called this meeting being now present— spoke of two letters, which had been received here by the brethren, from the , respecting Lands in said place and containing sentiments of sympathy on account of our grievances, and distressed situation &c &c— One of these letters have been mislaid, and the other from to was read. It was then proposed that a Committee be appointed to visit the lands and confer with the Gentlemen who had so written, and declared themselves interested for our welfare—
moved that a Committee be appointed for that purpose, which was seconded and adopted unanimously. [HC 3:275] moved that the Committee shall select the land, if it can be safely located— seconded by and Carried, and the Committee be composed of five, viz. , , , Br. Benson, & Br. — It was moved seconded & adopted that if any one or more of the Committee be unable to go, the remainder of the Committee are to appoint others in their stead— The Chairman now produced a power of attorney, sent here from the Committee at , to be executed by such of the Brethren here who had lands in & were willing to have them sold to enable the families who are in distress at that place to get here, say about one hundred families— Power of Attorney was read— Moved seconded and adopted, that the of this meeting, do make out a copy of the minutes of this meeting, to be sent to the Committee at — — Clerk—”
<Church in England> While the persecutions were progressing against us in , The enemy of all righteousness was no less busy with the Saints in England, according to the length of time the Gospel had been preached in that Kingdom— Temptation followed Temptation, and being young in the cause, the Saints suffered themselves to be buffeted by their advisary— From the time that Elder was called to the apostleship in July 1838, the devil seemed to take a great dislike to him, and strove to stir up the minds of many against him, was afflicted with sickness, and several times was brought to the borders of the grave and many were tempted to believe that he was under transgression or he [p. 894]