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.
<April 11> scorched, and his eyes were much affected, and he did not recover for two or three days. Mr. Palmer is reputed to be a man of integrity and of temperate habits; and his story, though marvellous, is generally believed. The meteor was seen by several other people, who speak of luminous bodies being detached from it. Its progress was attended by a noise similar to that of a train of cars on a rail road. A man who saw it from Salem, represents it to have been of dimensions much larger than described by Mr. Palmer. The report of the explosion was heard also at .”
<12> Tuesday 12. I attended the meeting of the Lodge—. The Twelve, namely, , , , , , , and , Clerk, assembled in the Lodge Room at four oclock P.M. and appointed , and a committee to make arrangements for the payments due from President Smith as Trustee in Trust, to <Mr.> Wilkie. and voted that go on a Mission South to preach the gospel. Also voted that the Twelve unite their influence to persuade the brethren to consecrate all the old notes, deeds, and obligations which they hold against each other, to the building of the in and that write an Epistle in the name of the Twelve on that subject, and publish it in the Times and Seasons which he did as follows, [HC 4:589]
“An Epistle of the Twelve. To the Saints in , Greeting: Beloved brethren, we have whereof to congratulate you at the present time, as we have the opportunity from day to day to witness the progress of the building of the of the Lord in this , and which is and must be accomplished by the united exertions of the labors of the brethren who reside here, and the tithings and contributions of those who are scattered abroad in the different states. In this glorious object the hearts of all the faithful are united, the hands of the laborer are made strong continually, and the purse strings of the more opulent are unloosed, from time to time, to supply those things which are necessary for upraising the stones of this noble edifice; and it may truly be said that the blessing of the Lord is upon his people; we have peace without, and love within the borders of our beautiful ;— beautiful indeed, for situation is ; the crown of the great valley of the , the joy of every honest heart. Although all things are more prosperous, concerning the , than at any former period, yet the Saints must not suppose that all is done, or that they can relax their exertions and the work go on. It is a great work that God has required of his people, and it will require long and unwearied diligence to accomplish it; and redoubled diligence will be necessary with all, to get the building inclosed before another winter, so that the joiner can be employed during the cold weather; and we would again call upon all the Saints abroad to unite in making their deposit<s> in banks known to be good and safe, and forward their certificates to the Trustee in Trust, as speedily as possible; when trusty men are not coming immediately to this place who can bring your offerings. All will want the privileges and blessings [p. 1317]