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.
<February 26 ’s Letter> request that you feel no hesitancy, or reluctance in communicating to me your wishes, at all times and on any subject. I should be much gratified if it could be convenient for , or some one or more of the leading members of your Church to spend some time with me in travelling through the [HC 3:266] tract, and in hearing and learning the state of the public mind, and feelings of the community in relation to the location of the Church. I feel that I am assuming a very great responsibility in this undertaking, and I wish to be governed by the dictates of wisdom, and discretion, while at the same time I am aware that we are often disposed to view things as we would wish to have them, rather than, as they really are; And our great anxiety to accomplish our object, may some times diminish the obstacles below their real measure. The little knowledge which I have as yet of the doctrines, order or practice of the Church, leaves me under the necessity of acting in all this matter as a stranger, though as I sincerely hope as a friend; for such I assure you I feel myself to be, both towards you collectively as a people, and individually as sufferers. If it should not be convenient for any one to come up, about the 7th. or 8th. March, please write me by the mail. Say to that I regret that I was absent when he was at my house, I cannot visit until after my return from , when I think, if it is thought necessary, I can. Accept Dear Sir, for yourself, and in behalf of your Church and People, assurance of my sincere sympathy in your sufferings and wrongs, and deep solicitude for your immediate relief from present distress, and future triumphant conquest over every enemy. Yours truly, .”
When Elder left in the fall of 1838 either by missing his way, or some other cause, he struck the some distance above its mouth in a destitute situation; and making his wants known, found friends who assisted him, and gave him introductions to several Gentlemen among whom was , to whom he communicated the situation of the Saints; the relation of which enlisted his sympathies, or interest, or both united, and hence a providential introduction of the Church to , and its vicinity; for went direct to , the place of his destination, and made known his interview with , to the Church.
<27 Democratic Association> Wednesday Febry. 27th. 1839. 6 o clock P.M. The members of the Democratic Association, and the Citizens of generally, assembled in the Court House to take into consideration, the state and condition of the people called “The Latter Day Saints,” and organized the Meeting by appointing Gen. Leach [Samuel Leech], Chairman, and James D. Morgan Secretary. Mr. Whitney from the Committee appointed at a former meeting, submitted the following report. The select Committee, to whom the subject was referred of inquiring into and reporting the situation of the persons who have recently arrived here from , and whether their circumstances are such, as that they would need the aid of the Citizens of and its vicinity, to be guided by what they might deem the principles of an expanded benevolence, have attended to the duties assigned them and have concluded on the following
Greene, Facts Relative to the Expulsion, 6–9; “The Mormons,” Quincy (IL) Whig, 16 Mar. 1839, .
Greene, John P. Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri, under the “Exterminating Order.” By John P. Greene, an Authorized Representative of the Mormons. Cincinnati: R. P. Brooks, 1839.