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.
<July 22> and safety of the Inhabitants of the City of and vicinity, have thought proper to lay before your , the following Statements— Whereas the Latter Day Saints having suffered much in the State of , in time past, through the hand of oppression, brought upon them by the falsehoods and misrepresentations of wicked and designing [HC 5:68] men, whose hands are yet dripping with the blood of the innocent, and whose fiendish rage has sent many a patriot to his long home, leaving in our midst many Widows and Orphans, whose sorrows and tears, even time cannot wipe away. We would respectfully represent to your , that we broke no law, violated no constitutional rights, nor trampled upon the privileges of any other people in . Yet we had to suffer banishment, exile, the confiscation of our properties, and have diseases, distress and misery entailed upon us and our Children, the effects of which we bear about in our bodies, and are indelibly engraven on our minds, and we appeal to your at the present time that you will not suffer an occurrence of such heart rending scenes to take place under your administration. Whilst we have been in this we have behaved as good peaceable Citizens, we have availed ourselves of no privileges, but what are strictly constitutional, and such as have been guaranteed by the Authority of this , we have always held ourselves amenable to the Laws of the Land, we have not violated any Law, nor taken from any their rights. Your must be acquainted with the false statements and seditious designs of with other Political Demagogues, pertaining to us as a people, we presume Sir, that you are acquainted with the infamous Character of that Individual, from certain statements made to us by yourself, pertaining to him, but lest you should not be, we forward to you documents pertaining to this affair which will fully show the darkness of his character, and the infamous course that he has taken. Concerning those statements made by him against Joseph Smith, we know that they are false; Joseph Smith has our entire confidence, we know that he has violated no law, nor has he in any wise promoted sedition or rebellion, nor has he sought the injury of any Citizen of this, or any other place, we are perfectly assured that he is as loyal, patriotic and virtuous a Man as there is in the State of , and we appeal to your if in three years acquaintance with him, you have seen any thing to the contrary. Inasmuch as this is the Case, we your Petitioners knowing that Joseph Smith could not have justice done him by the State of , that he has suffered enough in that unjustly already, and that if he goes there it is only to be murdered. Pray your not to issue a writ for him to be given up to the Authorities of , but if your thinks that he has violated any Law, we request that he may be tried by the authorities of this for he shrinks not from investigation. [HC 5:69] We furthermore pray, that our Lives, and the Lives of our Wives and Children may be precious in your sight, and that we may have the privilege of following our avocations, of living in our Farms, and by our own firesides in peace, and that <neither> said , nor any other Person may not be able to influence your , either by intrigue, or falsehood, to suffer us as a people to be injured by Mob violence, but if in the estimation of your [p. 1358]