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 22> the twenty second with irons round the wrist of each, and in this fix they were taken from Prison and placed in a carriage. The people of gathered round them to see them depart; but none seemed to feel for them except two persons. One of these (’s lady) bowed to them through the window, and looked as if touched with pity. The other was Mr. Hugins, Merchant of , who bowed with some feeling as they passed. They then took leave of , accompanied by Sheriff Brown, and four guards, with drawn pistols, and moved on towards Columbia. It had been thundering and raining for some days and the thunder storm lasted with but short cessations from the time they started, till they arrived at the place of destination, which was five days. The small streams were swollen so as to be very difficult in crossing them.
<23> Thursday 23. The prisoners came to a creek which was several rods over, with a strong current, and very deep. It was towards evening, and far from any house, and they had received no refreshment through the day. Here they halted, and knew not what to do; they waited a while for the water [HC 3:360] to fall, but it fell slowly. All hands were hungry and impatient, and a lowery night seemed to threaten that the creek would rise before morning by the falling of additional rains. In this dilemma, some councilled one thing, and some another. At last proposed to the Sheriff, that if he would take off his Irons, he would go into the Water to bathe; and by that means ascertain the depth and bottom; this he consented to do after some hesitation. he then plunged into the Stream, and swam across, and attempted to wade back. he found it to be a hard bottom, and the water about up to his chin; but a very stiff Current. After this, Mr. Brown, the Sheriff, undertook to cross on his horse; but was thrown off and buried in the stream. This accident decided the fate of the day. Being now completely wet, he resolved to effect the crossing of the whole company, bag and baggage. Accordingly several stripped off their clothes and mounted on the bare backs of the horses; and, taking their clothing, saddles, and arms, together with our trunk and bedding upon their shoulders, they bore them across in safety without wetting. This was done by riding backwards and forwards, across the Stream several times. In this sport and labor, prisoners, guards and all, mingled in mutual exertion. All was now safe but the Carriage. Mr. [Morris] Phelps then proposed to swim that across, by hitching two horses before it; and he mounted on one of their backs, while and one of the Guards swam by the side of the Carriage to keep it from upsetting by the force of the current. And thus, Paul like, they all got safe to Land. Every thing was soon replaced; and prisoners in the Carriage, and the suite on horseback, moving swiftly on, and at dark arrived at a house of entertainment, amid a terrible thunder storm.
I was busy in counseling, writing letters and attending to General business of the Church this week— [HC 3:361] [p. 943]