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 28> from respectable sources that said has entered into a conspiracy with some of the Citizens of your , to bring a mob upon us, and thereby disturb our peaceful vocations of life, and destroy, and drive us from our homes, and firesides. Believing that your cannot be influenced by the popular prejudice, almost every where entertained against us, on account of our peculiar religious tenets; I am the more free to write to you without reserve; knowing that the high toned and honorable men of the Earth, will not be easily carried away by popular opinion or vulgar prejudice; but will always be found on the side of the law abiding portion of community; and will suppress so far as in them lies, every movement that tends to abridge the rights, or mar the peace and happiness of any portion of the Citizens of our Common Country. I have resided in this near three years, and attached myself to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, soon after their location here; and have had a good opportunity of learning the feelings of the leading members of the said Church, in regard to the Citizens of , which are of the most friendly nature; ever desiring to live in peace, and cultivate friendship with all the Citizens of your as also all the States, and all mankind generally; it being a principle of our faith, to cultivate friendship and live in peace with all mankind; and if Dr. , or any other person, may conspire with Citizens of your , to bring upon us mob violence, we confide in you as one who will under all circumstances interpose the strong arm of the law, in the suppression of conspiracy or mobs, or any other violation of Law as Citizens of the we claim the protection of the several States and the in all our constitutional rights, and having learned something of your character we the more confidently expect your protection against all lawless aggressions by any of the Citizens of your . Whatever may be reported concerning us, we assure your that our feelings are as I have before stated, of the most friendly nature. And should or any other person report any thing [HC 5:47] contrary your need pay no attention to it; for it is not the truth, and is only designed by wicked men to cause the overthrow of the innocent. Should any report have already reached your ears I would esteem it as a great favor if you would give me information of the same by letter immediately on receipt of this. I am, yours respectfully .” [HC 5:48]
<29> Wednesday 29 I held a long conversation with . found fault with being exposed but I told him I spoke of him in self defence. was, or appeared humble and promised to reform— Heard the read in the Law of the Lord, paid taxes, rode out in the on business with .
My Clerk being about to leave me for a season, committed the business of my to Elder , who had been engaged with him for a few weeks past.