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.
<March 15 Petition of Joseph Smith for > aver that they can disprove every item of testimony that has any tendency of criminality against the Prisoner, for they know it themselves, and can bring many others also to prove the same. Therefore your Petitioners pray your honor to grant to him the ’s Writ of habeas corpus, directed to the jailor of , (Mo.) commanding him forthwith to bring before you the body of the Prisoner, so that his case may be heard before your honor, and the situation [HC 3:280] of the Prisoner be considered and adjusted according to law and justice, as it shall be presented before your honor, and as in duty bound, your petitioners will ever pray. And, farther your petitioners testify that the said Joseph Smith Junr. did make a public proclamation in , in favor of the Militia of the State of , and of its laws, and, also of the Constitution of the ; that he has ever been a warm friend to his country, and did use all his influence for peace; that he is a peaceable and quiet citizen, and is not worthy of death, of stripes, bonds or imprisonment The above mentioned Speech was delivered on the day before the surrender of — , , , , Joseph Smith Junr.—
State of , County of — ss— This day personally appeared before me, Abraham Shafer, a Justice of the Peace, within and for the aforesaid — , , , , and Joseph Smith Junr., who being duly sworn, do depose and say that the matters and things set forth in the foregoing petition, upon their own knowledge, are true in substance and in fact, and so far as set forth upon the information of others, they believe to be true. , , , , and Joseph Smith Junr.— Sworn and subscribed to before me, this 15th. day of March 1839. Abraham Shafer J. P. We the undersigned, being many of us personally acquainted with the said Joseph Smith jun, and the circumstances connected with his imprisonment, do concur in the petition and testimony of the above named individuals, as most of the transactions therein mentioned we know from personal knowledge, to be correctly set forth, and from information of others, believe the remainder to be true. , , , Cyrus Daniels, , .” [HC 3:281]
The same day , , , and my fellow prisoners, made each a similar petition. [HC 3:282]
<17 Conference in > Sunday 17. Extract from the minutes of a Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held in on the 17th. of March 1839. was unanimously called to the Chair, and chosen Clerk. then arose and gave a statement of the circumstances of the Church at , and his feelings in regard to the scattering of the brethren, believing it to be wisdom to unite together as much as possible, in extending the hand of charity for the relief of the poor, who were suffering under the hand of persecution in , and to pursue that course that [p. 898]