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.
<March 15> present Session of Congress, the Chandeliers in the Senate, weighing about 1500 lbs said to have cost $5,000 came tumbling down and broke into atoms. Again, it is said that “the scroll held in the talons of the Eagle placed over the Chair Of the Presiding officer of the Senate of the United States, and bearing upon it the motto of the Union— E pluribus Unum— is stated to have fallen to the Earth; and on the same day the hand of the figure representing the Goddess of Liberty, standing in front of the Capitol of the , holding in it our glorious constitution, broke off, and came tumbling down.” Again, “the individual elevated to the honored place of Chief Magistrate of this great Republic starts from his home for the National Capitol— An Earthquake, as the journals friendly to him tell us, shakes the Earth at his setting out from the West! He crosses the mountains and arrives at Baltimore, and an explosion of the Banks in that City and — the “Great regulator of the Currency” taking the lead— salutes him! Again, during the progress of the imposing celebration, got up by his friends and followers, in a style of gorgeousness which Royalty itself might envy, a cord, which is stretched by them across the broad avenue leading from the Presidential Mansion to the Capitol, with the banners of the several States that voted for him strung upon it, breaks in the Centre; and the State emblems, dividing to the North, and to the South, are thrown to the ground, and draggled in the mire.” These are some of the principle “ill omens” which are quoted in the political journals, but we do not believe that it is in the province of any man to say that these “omens” (if such they are) are designed for political data to subserve the interest of either party— We believe that God “is no respector to (parties) persons” and if the accounts given are correct, (and they are well authenticated) we are ready to acknowledge, that we are credulous enough to believe they portend coming events, and will take rank in the signs of the Son of Man. That the explosion of banks should have any thing to do, or part to act in this tragedy, no doubt would be thought strange: but what is better calculated to produce “a distressof nationswith perplexity,” than the monied power of the world? What is better calculated to make “men’s heartsfail themfor fear” &c than to leave them pennyless? Look at the excitement which prevails throughout the , in consequence of the late failure of the Bank, “the great regulator of the Currency:” It is feared the institution is so rotten at heart, that no healing balm can remove the disease; and it has produced a general Consternation. Then many of the daughters following the example set by their mother <bank,>, have increased the alarm to an amazing degree, and the consequences are exceedingly feared: consequently, there is no doubt but banks will perform their part in the great theatre of the world to bring about the purposes of God, preparatory to the second advent of Christ.