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 10 ’s Letter> prisoners of Jesus Christ and in the same faith of the [HC 3:311] gospel with myself, who are holden by the cords of malice, and of hellish plottings against the just and of the lifting up the heel against the Lord’s anointed, but they shall soon fall and not rise again, for their destruction is sure, for no power beneath the Heavens can save them. is wielding a mighty shaft against the whole Kidney of foul calumniators and mobocrats of . Yesterday he spent part of the day with of this , the told him, that he was informed that was calculating to take out a bench warrant for himself and others, and then make a demand of his for them to be given up to be taken back to for trial, and he was assured by that noble minded hero— that if undertook that thing, he would get himself insulted; he also assured him that the people called Mormons should find a permanent protection in this . he also solicited our people one and all to settle in this , and if there could be a tract of Country that would suit our convenience, he would use his influence for Congress to make a grant of it to us, to redress our wrongs, and make up our losses We met last night in Council of the whole and passed some resolutions with respect to sending to the City of . We are making every exertion possible that lays in our power to accomplish that grand object, upon which hangs our temporal salvation, and interwoven with this, our Eternal Salvation; and so closely allied to each other are they, that I want to see the head connected with the Body again, and while we are enjoying one, let us be ripening for the other: But my heart says where is he whose lips used to whisper, the words of life to us? Alas! he is in the hands of Zions enemies. Oh Lord crieth my heart will not Heaven hear our prayers, and witness our tears! Yes, saith the Spirit thy tears are all bottled up, and shall speedily be rewarded, with the deliverance of thy dearly beloved Brethren. But when I see the fearful apprehensions of some of our brethren, it causes me to mourn, one instance of which I will mention. When I arrived at , I made my mind known to some of the community, and I told them that I wanted that they should send a messenger to the Jail to communicate with you, but I was denied the privilege. They said that the Presidency was so anxious to be free once more, that they would not consider the danger that the Church was in. They met in Council and passed resolutions that , , <&> W. Barlow should leave for forthwith: But my Spirits have been grieved ever since, so that I can hardly hold my peace; — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — but there is a God in Israel, that can blast the hellish desires, and infernal designs of that infernal banditti, whose hands have been embrued in the blood of Martyrs and Saints: who wish to destroy the Church of [HC 3:312] God. But their Chain is short, there is but just enough left to bind their own hands with. Dear Brethren I am at your service and I wait your Council at and [p. 916]