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.
<November 27> with us who proposed to name the incident to that body, believing they would reward such [HC 4:23] conduct by some public act; but on enquiring my name, to mention as the author of their safety; and finding it to be Joseph Smith, the “Mormon Prophet” as they called it, I heard no more of their praise, gratitude or reward—
<28 Joseph at > Thursday 28 I arrived at this morning, and put up at the corner of Missouri, and Third Streets—
This evening and Company <(except who stopped at Byron to visit his Sister)> rode to in the Steam Cars, and from thence rode all night in a horse Coach, and arrived at ten in the morning on Friday 29 at Auburn, New York, <Elders and proceeded on their way to .>
<Petition to Congress> The following is a copy of our Petition to Congress for redress of our difficulties.
“To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the in Congress assembled— Your Petitioners Joseph Smith, and would most respectfully represent that they have been delegated, by their brethren and fellow Citizens, known as “Latter Day Saints” (commonly called Mormons) to prepare, and present to you a statement of their wrongs and a prayer for their relief which they now have the honor to submit to the consideration of your Honorable Body. In the Summer of 1831 a portion of the society above named commenced a settlement in the County of in the State of . The individuals making that settlement had emigrated from almost every State in the to that lovely Spot in the Far West, with the hope of improving their Condition, of building houses for themselves and posterity, and of erecting Temples where they, and theirs, might worship their Creator according to the dictates of their conscience
Though they had wandered far from the homes of their Childhood, still they had been taught to believe, that a Citizen born in any one State in this great , might remove to another and enjoy all the rights and immunities of Citizens of the State of his adoption, That wherever waved the American flag, beneath its Stars and Stripes an American Citizen might look for protection and justice, for liberty in person and in conscience. [HC 4:24] They bought farms, built houses, erected Churches, some tilled the Earth, others bought and sold merchandize, and others again, toiled in the Shape of the Mechanic, They were industrious and moral, and they prospered, and though often persecuted and villified for their difference in religious opinion from their fellow Citizens, they were happy, they saw their society increasing in numbers, their farms teemed with plenty and they fondly looked forward to a future big with hope. That there was prejudice against them, they knew, that slanders were propogated against them they deplored, yet they felt that these were unjust, and hoped that time and an uprightness of life would enable them to outlive them; while the summer of peace, happiness, and hope shone over the infant settlement of the Saints, the cloud was gathering unseen by them, that bore in its bosom the thunderbolt of destruction. On the 20th. July 1833 around their peaceful village, a mob gathered to the Surprise and terror of the quiet Mormons, why, they knew not; They had broken no law, they had harmed no man, in deed or thought. why they were thus threatened <they knew not.>— Soon a Committee from the Mob [p. 975]