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.
<February 21> with the Clerk’s name attached thereto, after these things and some others were said, the Committee refused to consult on the subject, Only the same three attended that were in yesterday— The Chairman observed they had not expressed any opinion relative to the subject; but observed his mind was made up in relation to the matter, I think from all I have discovered, Mr. Smith of Indiana will be on the side of justice, but how the thing will terminate I cannot tell. Mr. [John] Crittenden and Mr. [Robert] Strange are the two absent members of the Committee— Yours in the bonds of love. .
“ Feb. 22. 1840 Dear Brother I have just returned from the Committee Room, the Committee being present to day, a Mr. Corwin of , formerly a democratic Editor, emptied his Budget; which was as great a bundle of nonsense and stuff, as could be thought of; I suppose not what he knew, but what Gentlemen had told him, for instance the religious and others, I confess I had hard work to restrain my feelings some of the time; but I did succeed in keeping silence tolerably well. Himself, and summoned all the energies of their minds to impress upon the assembly that Jo. Smith as he called him, led the people altogether by Revelation, in their temporal, civil and political matters, and by this means caused all the Mormons to vote the whole hog ticket on one side, except two persons; but when I got an opportunity of speaking, I observed that Joseph Smith never led any of the Church in these matters; as we considered him to have no authority, neither did he presume to exercise any of that nature; that revelations were only concerning Spiritual things in the Church, and the Bible being our Standard, we received no revelation contrary to it, I also observed that we were not such ignoramuses perhaps, as he fain would have people believe us to be, and some other things on this subject, I then told him that every man exercised the right of suffrage according to his better judgment, or without any Ecclesiastical restraint being put upon him; that it was all false about a revelation on voting; and the reason of our voting that ticket was, in consequence of [HC 4:85] the democratic principles having been taught us from our infancy; That they ever believed and extended equal rights to all; and that we had been much persecuted previous to that time, many threatnings being made from the Counties round about, as well as among us, who took the lead in political affairs. It was true we advised our brethren to vote this ticket, telling them we thought that party would protect our rights, and not suffer us to be driven from our lands, as we had hitherto been; believing it to be far the most liberal party; but in that we were mistaken, because when it came to the test, there were as many democrats turned against us as Whigs; and indeed less liberality and political freedom was manifested by them, for one Whig Paper came out decidedly in our favor, I made these remarks partly from motives, which I may at another time explain to you. He laid great stress on the trials at , and a Constitution, that he said and others (who were in good standing in the Mormon Church at this time) swore to; then went on to relate what it contained, and that it was written by [p. 1020]