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.
<July 22> An interesting memorial concerning the Jews “to the Protestant Powers of Europe and ” signed and sealed in the 8th. of January 1839 may be found in the “Millenial Star pages 162. 163. 164. 165. [HC 4:167]
<24> Elder William Donaldson, member of the <British> army bound for the East Indies, writes from Chatham 24th. July “We go on board tomorrow. I have had a glorious vision about going into the Land of Egypt”—
“ Ill. July 25, 1840 Revd. & Dear Friends— The last time I wrote you was during the pendency of your difficulties with the Missourians— You are aware that at that time I held the office of “Brigadier General of the Invincible Dragoons” of this , and proffered you my entire energies for your deliverance from a ruthless and savage, tho’ cowardly foe, but the Lord came to your rescue and saved you with a powerful arm; I am happy to find that you are now in a civilized land, and in the enjoyment of peace and happiness. Some months ago I resigned my office with an intention of removing to your and joining your people; but hitherto I have been prevented. I hope however to remove to and unite with your church next spring. I believe I should be much happier with you. I have many things to communicate which I would prefer doing orally, and I propose to meet you in on the first Monday in December next, as I shall be there at that time on and business, If I remove to I expect to follow my profession and to that end I enclose you a slip from the “Louisville Journal” to give you an idea of my professional standing On the first of this Month I was appointed to the Office of “Quarter [HC 4:168] Master General of the State of ” which office I expect to hold for some years, I hope you have been well. In haste. Write me immediately. Yours respectfully — To Messrs. Smith & .
<27.> “Quarter Master General’s Office, , Illinois July 27. 1840 To the Revds. & Joseph Smith Junr.— Respected Friends. I wrote you a few days ago from this place, but my great desire to be with you and your people prompts me to write again at this time ; and I hope it will not be considered obtrusive by friends whom I have always so highly esteemed as yourselves. At the last District and Circuit Court of the , holden at in June last I had the honor of being on the Grand Inquest of the for the District of , and hoped to have seen you there; but was quite disappointed. I attended the meeting of your people opposite Mr. Lowry’s Hotel but did not make myself known as I had no personal acquaintance in the Congregation— It would be my deliberate advice to you to concentrate all of your Church at one point— If with for its Commercial Emporium is to be that point, well— fix upon it, and let us co-operate with a general concerted action. You can rely upon me in any event. I am with you in Spirit, and will be in person as soon as circumstances permit, and immediately if it is your desire. Wealth is no material object with me; I desire to be happy and I am fully satisfied that I can enjoy myself better with your people with my present views and feelings than with any other. I hope that the time will soon come when your people will become my people and your God my God. At the time of your peril and bitter [p. 1085]