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.
<August 8> Commercial and agricultural pursuits, but like all other places on the , is sickly in Summer, the number of inhabitants is nearly three thousand and is fast increasing; if we are suffered to remain, there is every prospect of its becoming one of the largest cities on the , if not in the Western World, numbers have moved in from the Sea board, and a few from the Islands of the Sea (Great Britain). It is our intention to commence the erection of some public buildings next Spring— We have purchased twenty thousand acres of land in the opposite this place which is fast filling up with our people— I desire all the Saints as well as all lovers of the truth and correct principles to come to this place as fast as possible, or their circumstances will permit; and endeavor by energy of action and a concentration of talent &c &c to effect those objects that are so dear to us. Therefore my general invitation is “Let all that will, come” and <par>take of the poverty of freely. I should be disposed to give you a special invitation to come as early as possible believing you will be of great service to us, however you must make arrangements according to your circumstances &c. Were it possible for you to come here this Season to suffer affliction with the people of God, no one will be more pleased or give you a more cordial welcome than myself. A Charter has been obtained from the Legislature for a Rail road from , being immediately below the rapids of the , to this place, a distance of about Twenty miles which if carried into operation will be of incalculable advantage to this place, as Steam Boats can only ascend the rapids at a high stage of Water. The soil is good and I should think not inferior to any in the . Crops are abundant in this section of Country, and I think provisions will be reasonable. I should be very happy could I make arrangements to meet you in at the time you mention but cannot promise myself that pleasure; if I should not, probably you can make it convenient to come and pay us a visit here, prior to your removal. is very sick, and has been for nearly twelve months with the fever and ague which disease is very prevalent here at this time: at present he is not able to leave his room. Yours &c Joseph Smith Jr. To M.D. P.S. yours of the 30th. is just received, in which I am glad to learn of your increasing desire to unite yourself with a people “that are [HC 4:178] every where spoken against” and the anxiety you feel for our welfare for which you have my best feelings, and I pray that my Heavenly Father will pour out his choisest blessings in this world and enable you by his grace to overcome the evils which are in the world, that you may secure a blissful immortality in the world that is to come. J. S. Jr.”
Soon after the July Conference at , Elder started for to fetch his family, leaving the Star in charge of assisted by Elder .
<1840 Augt. 10th.> Elder died in , aged 40 years, 10 months and 23 days. He was one of the first elders of the Church, and was ever ready to spread the truth, and defend the saints. He was lieutenant colonel of the Militia in , was fearless in danger, and Manifested the most pure integrity. He was much respected by his friends, and dreaded by his enemies, and he bore testimony of the truth of the gospel to his last moments.
“Wayne Co. Ill, Augt. 15. 1840. Revd. Joseph Smith Jr. and Respected Friends— I have written you several communications to and supposing they were different places, but a brother to a Lady in your community now in this place informs me that they are one and the same. I have received no [p. 1089]