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 17> vigilant in the discharge of their duty, we believe they have been, (with very few exceptions) With these facts before us, there is then no difficulty in obtaining correct information as to the amount of crime committed by the Mormons, [HC 5:32] throughout the . You have only to refer to the various dockets kept by the administrators of law, from the highest court to the lowest, throughout the length and breadth of the Land, and there you will find recorded the crimes of the Mormons, if it so be that they have committed any. We say their faults are few compared to the population; where is there a record of Murder committed by any of our people, none in the ; where is there a record against any of our people for a penitentiary crime? not in the ; where is there a record of fine or county imprisonment (for any breach of Law) against any of the Latter Day Saints, I know of none in the . If then they have broken no law, they consequently have taken away no man’s rights, they have infringed upon no man’s liberties. We have been three years in this , and have not asked for any county, or state officer; laws have been administered by those not of our persuasion; administered rigorously, even against the appearance of crime, and yet there has been no conviction of which I have heard. Where is there another community of thirty thousand in any State, against none of whom there is a record of conviction for crime in any court during the space of three years— And yet there are those who cry out, treason! murder!! bigamy!!! burglary!!! arson!!! and every thing that is evil, without being able to refer to a single case that has ever been proved against the Mormons. This then must be the “head and front of our offending.” That by industry in both spiritual, and temporal things, we are becoming a great and numerous people; we convert our thousands, and tens of thousands yearly to the light of truth; to the glorious liberty of the gospel of Christ; we bring thousands from foreign lands, from under the yoke of oppression, and the iron hand of poverty, and we place them in a situation where they can sustain themselves, which is the highest act of charity towards the poor. We dry the Widow’s tear, we fill the orphan’s hand with bread, and clothe the naked; we teach them principles of morality and righteousness, and they rejoice in the God of Abraham and in the Holy One of Israel, and are happy,— Thus it is with the honest in heart; but when the wicked creep in amongst us for evil, to trample upon the most holy and virtuous precepts, and find our moral and religious laws too strict for them, they cry out “delusion, false prophets, speculation, oppression, illegal ordinances, usurpation of power, treason against the government &c You must have your charters taken away— you have dared to pass an ordinance against fornicators, and adulterers— you have forbid the vending of spirituous liquors within your — you have passed an ordinance against vagrants and disorderly persons; with many other high [HC 5:33] handed acts; you even threaten to vote at the next election, and may be (at least we fear) you will send a member to the Legislature; none of which doings we the good Mobocrats and Anti Mormon politicians, (and some priests as well) [p. 1341]