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.
Conference assembled— sung a hymn— prayer by Elder then addressed the assembly upon several subjects; made many interesting remarks concerning being called to the ministry, labor in the vineyard &c spoke of his own travels and the fruits of his labors as an encouragement to the young Elders who were going into the vine yard— President Joseph Smith said the baptisms would be attended to, also the ordinations— Sung a hymn Elder preached a sermon, while the ordinations and baptisms were going on, on the subject of infidelity shewing that the arguments used against the bible were reasonably scientifically and philosophically false. The stand was occupied in the afternoon by Elder , <who was> <who was> followed by Elder , then the Conference closed by the benediction of President Joseph Smith. . Clerk”—
<9> Saturday 9. In the morning I attended — — the funeral of brother Ephraim Marks and in the evening attended City Council. <The following brief extract is from <Elder> s journal. [HC 4:586] See Addenda Book page 43.>
<10> Sunday 10. I preached in the , and pronounced a curse upon all Adulterers and Fornicators, and unvirtuous persons and those who have made use of my name to carry on their iniquitous designs. <The following brief synopsis is from the Journal of Elder . [HC 4:587] See Addenda Book page 62.>
Mr. Horace Palmer who was on his way from Dunkirk to about three o’clock this morning states that when about three miles [HC 4:588] from Dunkirk he was suddenly surrounded by a painful vivid light proceeding from a quality of jelly like substance, which fell on and about him, producing a sulphurous smell, a difficulty of breathing and a severe sensation of heat. As soon as he could so far recover from his astonishment as to look up, he saw the body of a terrific meteor passing above him and appearing to be about a mile high. Its size appeared to be three or four feet in diameter, and nearly a mile in length. Its dimensions soon varied, becoming at first broader, and then diminishing to one fourth less than its former size, when it apparently separated in pieces, and fell to the Earth; and immediately after he heard the explosion, which he says was tremendous. When Mr. Palmer arrived at , his face had the appearance of being severely [p. 1316]