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.
<April 5> William Bowman swore in the presence of that he “would never eat or drink, after he had seen Jo Smith until he had murdered him”.
Also Eight men— (who was the County Judge) Dr. Laffity, and five others came into the Committee Room and presented to the paper containing — — — — — — — — — — the Revelation of July 8. 1838. to Joseph Smith, that the Twelve were to take their leave, at the building in [HC 3:306] on the twenty sixth of April, to go to the Isles of the Sea, and then asked him to read it— said “Gentlemen I am well acquainted with it,” they said “then you as a rational man, will give up Joseph Smith being a Prophet and an Inspired Man— now he, and the twelve are scattered all over the Creation let them come here, if they dare, if they do, they will be murdered— as that revelation cannot be fulfilled, you will now give up your faith”— jumped up and said “in the name of God, that Revelation will be fulfilled”, they laughed him to scorn— hung down his head— they said “if they (the Twelve) come, they will get murdered— they dare not come to take their leave here— that is like all the rest of Jo. Smith’s dam’d prophecies— they commenced on and said, he “had better do as has done, he is going to publish a book called “mormonism farely delineated,” he is a sensible man, and you had better assist him”— said, Gentlemen, “I presume there are men here who have heard say, Mormonism was true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and inspired of God &c I now call upon you, , you say is a moral and good man, do you believe him, when he says the Book of Mormon is true, or when it is not true, there are … many things published that they say is true, and again turn round and say it is false” asked do you hint at me? replied “if the cap fits you, wear it, all I know, you have published to the world that an angel did present those plates to Joseph Smith” replied “I now say, I handled those plates, there was fine engravings on both sides— I handled them,” and he described how they were hung, and “they were shewn to me by a supernatural power” he acknowledged all— asked him “why the translation is not now [HC 3:307] true,” he said “I cannot read it, and I do not know whether it is true or not”— testified all this in the presence of Eight Men—
<Committee> The Committee met and Brother made report of his Journey to on business of Committee. The subject of providing some Clothing for the Prisoners at was discussed and the propriety of sending two Brethren to to make sales of some lands, was taken up and Elders , and were appointed, a Bill of Clothing for the Prisoners having been made up was presented and given to those appointed to go to that they might procure the goods on the sales of Land.
<6> Saturday 6 April, evidently fearing a change of venue, or some movement on our part to escape his unhallowed persecution; (and most probably expecting that we would be murdered on the way) hurried [p. 913]