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.
<May 13> of troops engaged in this unlawful, unconstitutional and treasonable enterprize, In monarchical governments, the banishment of criminals, after their trial and legal condemnation, has been frequently resorted to— but the banishment of innocent women and children from house and home and country, to wander in a land of strangers, unprotected and unprovided for, while their husbands and fathers are retained in dungeons, to be tried by some other law, is an act unknown in the annals of history, except in this single instance in the nineteenth century, when it has actually transpired in a Republican State, where the Constitution guarantees to every man the protection of life and property, and the right of trial by jury. These are outrages which would put monarchy to the blush, and from which the most despotic tyrants of the dark ages would turn away with shame and disgust— In these proceedings, has en[HC 3:353]rolled her name on the list of immortal fame; her transactions will be handed down the stream of time to the latest posterity, who will read with wonder and astonishment the history of proceedings which are without a parallel in the annal of time. Why should the authorities of the strain at a gnat and swallow a camel? Why be so strictly legal as to compel me, through all the forms of a slow and legal prosecution previous to my enlargement, out of a pretence of respect to the laws of the Statute, which have been openly trampled upon and disregarded towards us from the first to the last? Why not include me in the general, wholesale banishment of our Society, that I may support my family which are now reduced to beggary in a land of strangers. But when the authorities of the shall redress all these wrongs; shall punish the guilty according to law; and shall restore my family and friends to all the rights of which we have been unlawfully deprived, both in and all other Counties; and shall pay all the damages which we as a people have sustained, then I shall believe them sincere in their professed zeal for law and justice. then shall I be convinced that I can have a fair trial in the . But until then, I hereby solemnly protest against being tried in this , with the full and conscientious conviction, that I have no just grounds to expect a fair and impartial trial. I therefore most sincerely pray your Honor, and all the authorities of the , to either banish me without further prosecution; or I freely consent to a trial before a Judiciary of the . With sentiments of high consideration and due respect I have the honor to subscribe myself, your Honor’s most humble and obedient &c — To —”
<17> “ May 17. 1839 To the Editors of the Quincy Whig— Gentlemen— Some letters in your paper have appeared over the Signature of in relation to our affairs with . We consider it is ’s privilege to express his opinion in relation to political or religious matters, and we [p. 940]