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.
<September 15> “The of after a silence of about two years, has at last made a demand on of for J. Smith Jr., , , , , and , as fugitives from justice. The demand it seems has been complied with by , and an order issued for their apprehension accordingly our place has recently received a visit from the Sheriff for these men; but through the tender mercies of a kind Providence, who by his power has sustained, and once delivered them from the hands of the blood thirsty and savage race of beings in the shape of men that tread ’s delightful soil; they were not to be found; as the Lord would have it, they were gone from home, and the Sheriff returned, of course, without them. These men do not feel disposed to again try the solemn realities of mob law in that ; and a free and enlightened republic should respond against it, for has no claim on them, but they have claim on . What right have they <to> demand of , as fugitives from justice men against whom no process had ever been found in that . No not so much as the form of a process. They were taken by a mob militia, and dragged from every thing that was dear and sacred, and tried (without their knowledge) by a court martial, condemned to be shot, but failing in this, they were forced into confinement, galled with chains, deprived of the comforts of life, and even that which was necessary to save life, then brought to a pretended trial, without even having a legal process served, and then deprived of the privilege of defence. They were taken by a mob, tried, condemned and imprisoned by the same. and this cannot deny. What a beautiful picture has presented to the [HC 4:198] world, after driving 12 or 15,000 inhabitants from their homes, forcing them to leave the under the pain of extermination, and confiscating their property, and murdering innocent men, women, and children, then, because that a few made their escape from his murdering hand, and have found protection in a land of equal rights so that his plans and designs have all been unfruitful, to that extent that he has caused Mormonism to spread with double vigor; he now has the presumption to demand them back in order that his thirst for innocent blood may yet be satiated— He has no business with them, they have not escaped from justice, but from the hands of a cursed, infuriated, inhuman set, or race of beings who are enemies to their country, to their God, to themselves and to every principle of righteousness and humanity— They loathe Christianity and despise the people of God, they war against truth and inherit lies; virtue they tread under their feet, while vice with her ten thousand offspring is their welcome associate, therefore, men on whom has no claim, she cannot, no she never shallhave.”
“ Septr. 23. 1840 To the first Presidency and High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We gladly embrace this opportunity of conveying a few times to you by who we expect will leave this place for in a few days. Brother and have visited the several branches of the Church in , Pike Co., and On our way we stopped at , and Pleasant Garden Indiana; we found the [p. 1099]