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.
<May 19> control the same. was elected Counsellor in place of Joseph Smith elected Mayor— Counsellor in place of removed from the .
On account of the reports in circulation in the this day, concerning the and to quiet the public mind. Before the Council closed I asked if he had ought against me, when arose, before the Council and a house filled with Spectators and replied
“I know what I am about, and the heads of the Church know what they are about, I expect; I have no difficulty with the heads of the Church. I publicly avow that any one who has said that I have stated that General Joseph Smith has given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with Women is a Liar in the face of God. Those who have said it, are damned Liars; they are infernal Liars. He never either in public or private gave me any such authority or licence, and any person who states it is a scoundrel and a Liar, I have heard it said, that I should become a second , by withdrawing from the Church, and that I was at variance with the heads, and should use an influence against them, because I resigned the office of Mayor. This is false, I have no difficulty with the heads of the Church, and I intend to continue with you, and hope the time may come when I may be restored to full confidence, fellowship; and my former standing in the Church, and that my conduct may be such as to warrant my restoration— and should the time ever come that I may have the opportunity to test my faith, it will then be known whether I am a traitor, or a true man.”
I then said to him “will you please state definitely whether you know anything against my character either in public or private?” replied “I do not, in all my intercourse with General Smith, in public, and in private he has been strictly virtuous”— I then made some pertinent remarks before the Council concerning those who had been guilty of circulating false reports &c and said [HC 5:13] “Let one twelve months see if brother Joseph is not called for, to go to every part of the to keep them out of their groves, and I turn the keys upon them from this hour, if they will not repent and stop their lyings and surmisings. Let God curse them, and let their tongues cleave unto the roofs of their mouths.”
<20> Friday 20. Charges having been preferred against , by before a special Council for abusive language towards said , also for abusing the of the . I spent the day in Council, and such was the proof against , I had considerable labor to get him clear even after his Confession, which I desired to do, hoping he would amend.
JS, Journal, 20 May 1842; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 19 May 1842, 80–81.
Nauvoo City Council Minute Book / Nauvoo City Council. “A Record of the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo Handcock County, State of Illinois, Commencing A.D. 1841,” ca. 1841–1845. CHL. MS 3435.