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.
<June 9> honorably, and stood up in defence of the persecuted, in a manner worthy of high minded and honorable gentlemen. Some had even been told, that if they engaged on the side of the defence, they need never look to the Citizens of that County for any political favors. But they were not to be over-awed by the popular clamor, or be deterred from an act of public duty by any insinuations or threats whatever; and stated, that if they had not before determined to take a part in the defence, they, after hearing the threats of the community, were not fully determined to discharge their duty. The Counsel for the defence spoke well, without exception, and strongly urged the legality of the Court examining testimony to prove that the whole [HC 4:367] proceedings on the part of , were base and illegal, and that the indictment was obtained through fraud, bribery, and corruption. The Court, after hearing the Counsel, adjourned about half past six o’clock P.M.
<When I was at dinner, a man rushed in and said, “which is Jo Smith, I have got a five dollar Bill, and I’ll be darn’d if he don’t take it back, Ill sue him, for his name is to it.” I replied I am the man, took the bill, and paid him the specie, which he — — took very reluctantly, being anxious to kick up a fuss.>
<The crowd in the Court was so intense, that ordered the Sheriff of Warren Co. to keep the Spectators back; but he neglected doing so, when the fined him ten dollars; in a few minutes he again ordered the Sheriff to keep the men back, from crowding the Prisoner and Witnesses, he replied, “I have told a Constable to do it,” when the immediately said “Clerkadd ten dollars more to that fine,” the Sheriff finding neglect rather expensive, then attended to his duty.>
<A young Lawyer from volunteered to plead against me, he tried his utmost to convict me, but was so high with liquor, and chewed so much tobacco, that he often called for cold water; before he had spoken many minutes, he turned sick, requested to be excused by the Court, and went out of the Court house, puking all the way down stairs. (As the Illinoisans call the people pukes, this circumstance caused considerable amusement, to the Members of the Bar—) during his plea, his language was so outrageous, that the was twice under the necessity of ordering him to be silent.>
<Mr. then commenced his plea, and in a short time the puking Lawyer, — — — — — — returned and requested the privilege of finishing his plea, which was allowed.>
<Afterwards resumed his pleadings which were powerful, and when he gave a recitation of what he [HC 4:368] himself had seen, at , and on the Banks of the , when the Saints were “exterminated from ,” where he tracked the persecuted women and children by their bloody foot marks in the Snow; they were so affecting, that the Spectators were often dissolved in tears, himself and most of the Officers wept, for they were under the necessity of keeping the Spectators, company.>
<Elder during the evening preached a brilliant discourse in the Court house, on the first principles of the gospel, which changed the feelings of the people very materially.>
The following Letter is from the Editor of the Times and Seasons
“American Hotel, , Warren County, Ill. June 9th., 1841. Wednesday evening— We have just returned from the Court House, where we have listened to one of the most eloquent speeches ever uttered by mortal man in favor of justice and liberty, by Esqre., who has done himself immortal honor in the sight of all patriotic citizens who listened to the same— He occupied the attention of the court for more than two hours, and showed the falsity of the arguments of the opposite Council, and laid down principles in a lucid and able manner, which ought to guide the Court in admitting testimony for the defendant, Joseph Smith— We have heard on former occasions, when he has frequently delighted his audience by his eloquence; but on this occasion he exceeded our most sanguine expectations. The sentiments he advanced were just, generous and exalted, he soared above the petty quibbles which the opposite Council urged, and triumphantly, in a manner and eloquence peculiar to himself, avowed himself the friend of humanity, and boldly, nobly, and independently, stood up for the rights of those who had waded through seas of oppression, and floods of injustice, and had sought a shelter in the State of . It was an effort worthy of a high minded and honorable gentleman, such as we ever considered him to be, since we have had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Soon after we came out of , he sympathized with us in our afflictions and we are indeed rejoiced to know that he [HC 4:369] yet maintains the same principles of benevolence. His was not an effort of a Lawyer anxious to earn his fee; but the pure and patriotic feelings of christian benevolence and a sense of justice and of right. While he was answering the monstrous and ridiculous arguments urged by the opposing Council, that Joseph Smith might go to and have his trial; he stated the circumstances of our being driven from that , and feelingly and emphatically pointed out the impossibility of our obtaining justice there. There we were forbidden to enter in consequence of the order of the [p. 1206]