If you’d like, you can take these two pages out of the magazine, cut out the top and bottom sections, tape the two ends together, and hang the timeline on your wall or bulletin board. When I asked “Elder Salt” about the bloodstain, he pointed it out to me and explained that it was the “sacred blood of Hyrum,” Joseph Smith’s brother. They undoubtedly recognized their vulnerability and fled the county. ", Under the Council's new ordinance, Smith, as Nauvoo's mayor, in conjunction with the City Council, ordered the city marshal to destroy the Expositor and its press on June 10, 1844. The events leading to the death of Mormon founder Joseph Smith are much like the events surrounding his life—full of contradiction. It has been reported by some that this was taken as a sacrament. From that moment on everything changed, making any comparison to an innocent lamb or a willing martyr a perversion of the facts. In 1928, Frederick M. Smith, president of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church) and grandson of Joseph Smith, feared that rising water from the Mississippi River would destroy the grave site. The mob acted outside of the law and, in my opinion, their actions can in no way be justified. On page 308 Flanders writes: “When an opportunity to murder Smith finally came, it grew paradoxically out of events within the Mormon Church. B.H. Smith and some of the leading quorums of his church publicly denied he taught or practiced it.. “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning. 1967 – Edna Budvarson, co-founder of Utah Christian Tract Society, stands next to a glass frame covering what was believed to be the blood of Joseph Smith. He said Smith was "the most successful impostor in modern times," and that some people "expect more protection from the laws than the laws are able to furnish in the face of popular excitement.". Information from Joseph Smith—History, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, JosephSmith.net, and History of the Church. ye false swearers! In a letter dated July 22, 1844, Sarah Scott wrote: They were led by William Law, a member of the First Presidency since 1841, Wilson Law, a brigadier general in the Legion, Austin Cowles, a member of the Nauvoo High Council, James Blakeslee, a prominent Seventy, and Robert D. Foster, Chauncey Higbee, and Charles Ivins, prominent businessmen. and collapsed. Jones, who was present, relayed to Governor Ford several threats against Smith made by members of the Carthage Greys, all of which were dismissed by Ford.. A footnote on page 285 of volume two cites the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me. Lyon, "Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassinations of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith," BYU Education Week, 16 August 2010. Alex: He proceeded to restore the fullness of His gospel once again to us. Joseph Smith died for “what he believed in” in the same way that Jeffery Epstein did.  Mob members fled, shouting, "The Mormons are coming," although there was no such force nearby.. Richards had escaped all harm except for a bullet grazing his ear. “While in this position, the mob, who had come upstairs, and tried to open the door, probably thought it was locked, and fired a ball through the keyhole; at this Dr. Richards and Brother Hyrum leaped back from the door, with their faces towards it; almost instantly another ball passed through the panel of the door, and struck Brother Hyrum on the left side of the nose, entering his face and head.” Hyrum fell back and cried out, ‘I am a dead man! Alvin’s Life and Death. The mob violence is due to the fact that Smith had effectively used … Doctrine and Covenants / Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Objections to Christian Evangelism, Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, 175th Anniversary of Joseph Smith’s Death. The remains—which were badly decomposed—were examined and photographed, and the bodies were reinterred close by in Nauvoo. They resolved to publish their views and to ‘expose’ the secret and abominable teachings of the Mormon hierarchy in an opposition newspaper, to be named The Nauvoo Expositor. He was quoted as saying, "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer's morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I believe we all drank of the wine, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards. There were no bars on this room, and the door was so warped that it would not latch. The destruction of the press led to public outrage, and the Smith brothers and other members of the Nauvoo City Council were charged with inciting a riot. According to the testimony of John Taylor, Smith commented. He had a pass from the governor instructing the jailors to let him pass unmolested. , There are varying accounts of what happened next. Reports are that he survived the fall and was finished off on the ground. John Taylor also testified:“Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to … Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of lineal succession. It was no such thing; our spirits were generally dull and heavy, and it was sent for to revive us. On June 23, a posse under the command of Governor Ford entered Nauvoo to execute an arrest warrant, but they were unable to locate Smith. Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! Six other associates accompanied the Smiths: John P. Greene, Stephen Markham, Dan Jones, John S. Fullmer, Dr. Southwick, and Lorenzo D. According to the Council's minutes, Smith said he "would rather die tomorrow and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy among the people, and bringing death and destruction upon us. ‘He was murdered in cold blood'” (D&C 135:4). Joseph Smith sought the help of Illinois Governor Thomas Ford. Rigdon was the senior surviving member of the First Presidency, a body that had led the movement since 1832. But because Wells did not have authority in such a case, this led to a third examination. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”. That affirmation later was denied. If not, one could ask why he didn’t fire his smuggled pistol into the ceiling of the jail, or, if he had no intention to cause bodily harm, why fire it at all? On Thursday morning, June 27, Cyrus Wheelock went to visit Smith. Typically, these women continued to live with their first husbands, not Smith.  The reliability of these sources is disputed by some Mormons. On June 7 they issued the first and only edition of their paper.”. Absolutely. , Governor Ford left for Nauvoo not long after Smith was jailed. Smith declared martial law in Nauvoo and called on the Nauvoo Legion to protect the city. Most of his … Governor Ford was accused of knowing about the plot to kill Smith. Some accounts say Smith may have had sexual relations with one wife, who later in her life stated that he fathered children by one or two of his wives. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. It would indeed be difficult to know for sure what exactly Smith meant by his reference to Isaiah 53:7, but we do know that several Mormons have made the messianic connection. Two facts make me think that this appraisal is misleading. Smith’s last words were, “Oh Lord my God.” Standing alone these words do not mean much, but Mormon historian Reed C. Durham notes on page 28 of the booklet, The Death of Joseph Smith June 27-28, 2019. After the death of the Smiths, a succession crisis occurred in the Latter Day Saint movement. “Emily and Eliza Partridge, youthful daughters of deceased church bishop Edward Partridge, had been living in poverty after moving to Nauvoo in early 1840. Shortly after the events occurred, Taylor wrote that he heard that two of the attackers died when Smith shot them with his pistol. A member of the mob fired a shot through the door. Smith took Wheelock's gun and gave Fullmer's gun to his brother Hyrum.  Apart from Taylor's report of what he had heard, there is no evidence that Wills, Vorhease, Gallaher, or Allen died from their wounds.. Violent threats were made against Smith and the Mormon community. , In response to public outrage generated by the Expositor, the Nauvoo City Council passed an ordinance declaring the newspaper a public nuisance which had been designed to promote violence against Smith and his followers. Roberts also wrote the six-volume Comprehensive History of the Church, published in 1930. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, running for president of the United States, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Joseph Smith and the criminal justice system, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Learn how and when to remove this template message, The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), "Carthage Conspiracy Reconsidered: A Second Look at the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith", "The Prophet Joseph Smith and His Plural Wives", "Chapter XXI: The Destruction of the "Nauvoo Expositor"—Proceedings of the Nauvoo City Council and Mayor", "Arrest of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on a Charge of Treason--False Imprisonment--Elder Taylor's Protest--False Imprisonment", "On Being a Mormon Historian (And Its Aftermath)", "Physical Evidence at Carthage Jail and What It Reveals about the Assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith", "Joseph Smith's Brothers: Nauvoo and After", Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith, "Correspondence between William R. Hamilton and Samuel H. B. Smith Regarding the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith", "Return to Carthage: Writing the History of Joseph Smith's Martyrdom", "Was Joseph Smith a Martyr or a Murderer? Smith returned to Nauvoo, spent the night, and in the morning was told that he had to report to Carthage by 10 a.m. When my good friends Art and Edna Budvarson, the founders of Utah Christian Tract Society, visited the jail in 1967, there was a glass frame covering a bloodstain just a few feet from the door of Smith’s cell. Citizens ARISE, ONE and ALL!! Alvin SMITH was born February 11, 1798, in Tunbridge, Vermont, and died November 19, 1823, in Manchester Township, New York, at the age of 25. ldsanswers.org/how-could-joseph-smiths-polyandrous-marriages-be-explained It was a typically hot, early summer day in western Illinois when Joseph and Hyrum Smith rode into Carthage to turn themselves in to local authorities. But many have seen him. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, he was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. Again they were acquitted. In response, a motion to declare the newspaper a public nuisance was passed by the Nauvoo City Council, and Smith consequently ordered its press destroyed.. From the Life of Joseph Smith. Emma Smith invited Emily to live in the Smith home to care for the Smiths’ baby, Don Carlos, who was born 13 June 1840. The outstanding charges against him were for illegal sex crimes, financial crimes, and crimes of violence. Three men (John Wills, William Voorhees, and William Gallagher) were wounded, but no one died, and none of these three were arrested or appeared for trial. To hear Mormons tell the story, Smith did no wrong; for others, he did no right. A schism resulted, with each claimant attracting followers. ":v6,p549 Smith reluctantly submitted to arrest. Joseph Smith, originally Joseph Smith, Jr., (born December 23, 1805, Sharon, Vermont, U.S.—died June 27, 1844, Carthage, Illinois), American prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..  Upon arrival at Carthage, almost immediately the Smith brothers were charged with treason against the State of Illinois for declaring martial law in Nauvoo, by a warrant founded upon the oaths of A. O. Norton and Augustine Spencer. The watch is displayed in the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah; the watch was broken and was used to help identify the time of the attack. The bodies were cleaned and examined, and death masks were made, preserving their facial features and structures. 49 A premature birth took their first son, but in 1798 a second was born to them, and lived. , Followers of the Latter Day Saint movement, or Mormons, began to move into Hancock County, Illinois, in 1839; at the time, most supported the Democratic Party. February Joseph Smith Sr. visits Joseph. They named him Alvin. " Smith did not know that Jonathan Dunham, major general of the Nauvoo Legion, had not dispatched the unit to Carthage to protect him. After the Mormons' expulsion from the neighboring state of Missouri during the 1838 Mormon War, Joseph Smith went to Washington, D.C., and met with President Martin Van Buren, seeking intervention and compensation for lost property. His death at age 25 resulted in his younger brother Joseph taking more of a leading role in family affairs. There was an urgency to keep records even though the circumstances were perilous. While many Mormons might breathe a sigh of relief that Smith didn’t kill anyone at the jail, this doesn’t explain the fact that Smith apparently wanted to. Van Buren said he could do nothing to help. No one has seen God the Father. Saying the blood was that of Hyrum makes more sense. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!! Also, listen to the following Viewpoint on Mormonism podcasts: Your generous support makes the work of MRM possible.  Additional reports said that thunder and lightning frightened off the mob. Thank you! Alvin Smith (February 11, 1798 – November 19, 1823) was the eldest brother of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement.Alvin took a leading role in helping the Smith family work toward paying their debts and building their home. Its first and only issue was published June 7, 1844. Smith’s arrogance and reckless actions set in motion his ultimate demise. “God is in the still small voice. Mormons have used the above statement to insist that Taylor was misinformed, and while that may be, it fails to explain why Mormon historian B.H. This too ended with the defendants being found not guilty. T. M. Davis, An Authentic Account of the Massacre of Joseph Smith, The Mormon Prophet and Hyrum Smith, His Brother, together with a brief history of the rise and progress of Mormonism, and all the circumstances which led to their death (St. Louis: Chambers and Knapp, 1844), 7-8, emphasis retained. In a letter dated July 10, 1844, one of the jailers wrote that Smith, expecting the Nauvoo Legion, said, "Don't trouble yourself ... they've come to rescue me. After the killings, there was speculation about who was responsible. Our history is full of examples, both ancient and modern, of Christians who chose not to fight back when death for their faith was immanent. John Wills was shot in the arm, William Vorhease was shot in the shoulder, and William Gallaher was shot in the face. A contemporary witness reported these three as saying that they were the first men at the jail, that one of them shot through the door killing Hyrum, that Joseph wounded all three with his pistol, and that Gallaher shot Joseph as he ran to the window. When the family moved to upstate New York, he made the offer to leave home to find work, where he would be paid higher wages to help the family pay their debts and build a home. During their 17-year marriage, they were parents to 11 children, two of whom were adopted. While this may be true to a point, it was only true until Smith accepted the offer of Wheelock’s pistol. In 2010, forensic research by J. Lynn Lyon of the University of Utah and Mormon historian Glen M. Leonard suggested that Taylor's watch was not struck by a ball, but rather broke against a window ledge. As mayor of the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, Joseph Smith had ordered the destruction of the facilities used to print the Nauvoo Expositor, a newly established newspaper created by a group of non-Mormons and others who had seceded from the church. Smith’s decision to use the smuggled pistol demonstrates that he did not have any intention of voluntarily laying down his life. The pistol was a six-shooting revolver, of Allen’s patent; it belonged to me, and was one that I furnished to Brother Wheelock when he talked of going with me to the east, previous to our coming to Carthage” (History of the Church 7:100. Joseph Smith was an American religious leader and the founder of Mormonism. The anti-Mormon "Carthage Greys", a local militia, were assigned to protect the Smiths. Allen Joseph Stout later contended that by remaining inactive, Dunham violated an official order written by Smith after he was jailed in Carthage. Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. After emptying the pistol with which he tried to defend himself, Joseph was then shot several times while trying to escape from a second-story window, and fell from the window as he died. Joseph Smith Murdock* April 30, 1831 – March 29, 1832 (age 10 months) *Adopted. In response, Smith (who was also Nauvoo’s mayor) and the Nauvoo city council voted to declare the paper a public nuisance and sent an order to the city marshal that stated, “You are here commanded to destroy the printing press from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor, and pi [scatter] the type of said printing establishment in the street, and burn all the expositors and libelous handbills found in said establishment” (History of the Church 6:448). Eyewitness William Daniels wrote in his 1845 account that Smith was alive when mob members propped his body against a nearby well, assembled a makeshift firing squad, and shot him before fleeing. Van Buren said he could do nothing to help. I don’t know why the LDS Church removed the glass frame from off of the floor. He cried out, "I am a dead man!" Smith came from an unremarkable New England family. He authorized civil engineer William O.  The mob first attempted to push the door open to fire into the room, though Smith and the other prisoners pushed back and prevented this. , The Carthage Greys reportedly feigned defense of the jail by firing shots or blanks over the attackers' heads, and some of the Greys even reportedly joined the mob, who rushed up the stairs. The jail was … Richards, 1844; D&C 135; Oaks and Hill, 1979; Quinn, 1994. When it was learned that the municipal court had no right to decide such a case, the defendants were then examined by Justice Daniel H. Wells. Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church, but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. I think it was Captain Jones who went after it, but they would not suffer him to return. Joseph and Hyrum Smith's bodies were returned to Nauvoo the next day. Ultimately, five defendants—Thomas C. Sharp, Mark Aldrich, William N. Grover, Jacob C. Davis and Levi Williams—were tried for the murders of the Smiths. Refusing to believe the governor’s promises, Smith made plans to escape capture and flee to the Rocky Mountains. Matt: No. Joseph Smith was shot near the window, not the door. When they arrived, the two checked into a local hotel but were later met by Constable Bettisworth, who placed them under arrest and escorted them to the local jail.  Others claimed that a fourth unnamed man was also wounded. Joseph Smith was shot multiple times by an angry mob both while in the second story window of Carthage Jail in Illinois, and on the ground after falling from it. After briefly fleeing Illinois, Smith returned and the brothers then voluntarily traveled to the county seat at Carthage to face the charges. :v7,p102, Most accounts seem to agree that at least three mob members were wounded by Smith's gunfire, but there is no other evidence that any of them died as a result. ", The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research, "Chapter IX: The assault upon the prison - The murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith", List of lynching victims in the United States, William "Froggie" James and Henry Salzner, Thomas Moss, Henry Stewart, Calvin McDowell (TN), Thomas Harold Thurmond and John M. Holmes, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, National Museum of African American History and Culture, "The United States of Lyncherdom" (Twain), Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Death_of_Joseph_Smith&oldid=997749344, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2012, Articles needing additional references from June 2017, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 2 January 2021, at 01:34. Was Smith wrong in trying to defend himself? After Smith was criticized by some followers, he returned and was reported to have said, "If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself. Joseph had three clerks recording events prior to his death.  Wills, Vorhease, Gallaher, and a Mr. Allen (possibly the fourth man) were all indicted for the murder of the Smith brothers. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present with millions of global adherents. Taylor and Richards' accounts state that Smith was dead when he hit the ground. In the 1860s, those who felt that Smith should have been succeeded by Joseph Smith III established the RLDS Church, which later changed its name to the Community of Christ. Soon afterwards, Taylor “saw a number of men, with painted faces, coming around the corner of the jail, and aiming towards the stairs.” Immediately Willard Richards and Hyrum Smith leaned against the door to prevent the mob from entering the room. At a preliminary hearing that afternoon, the Council members were released on $500 bonds, pending later trial. A public viewing was held on June 29, 1844, after which empty coffins weighted with sandbags were used at the public burial. Joseph fired a pistol into the mob. After surrendering to authorities, the brothers were also charged with treason against Illinois for declaring martial law. However, Charles A. Warrants from outside Nauvoo were brought in against Smith and dismissed in Nauvoo courts on a writ of habeas corpus.  Most visitors were rigidly searched, but the guards forgot to check Wheelock's overcoat, and he was able to smuggle the gun to Smith. Oaks and Hill, 89, 127, 132–33, 136, 144, 165–66. In a conference message delivered in 1948, Seventy Milton R. Hunter said Smith decided not to flee Nauvoo as a result “of his deep love for the Saints.” Hunter said he returned voluntarily “to give his life as a sacrifice for them” (Conference Report, April 1948, p.31, emphasis mine). !—Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! Was Smith making some kind of messianic statement and comparing his death to that of the Savior when he said he was being a lamb led to the slaughter? There is no escaping the fact that he was guilty of being involved with the destruction of the Expositor, and history has shown that many of the accusations made in the paper regarding Smith’s secret involvement with polygamy were accurate. But even more surprising is that George Miller's journal exists only through 1843. News of the death of Joseph Smith raced through the country. However, no escorts were provided. In his letter Governor Ford also promised Smith and the others that they would “be protected from violence.”. There is no question that many modern LDS continue to make the messianic comparison. Smith, therefore, did not. We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits. Initially, the primary contenders to succeed Smith were Sidney Rigdon, Brigham Young, and James Strang. Some have alleged that the context of this statement was an attempt by Smith to use a Masonic distress signal. All hell, boil over! They were told at the time that it was the blood of Joseph Smith that was shed for the church. From the information given above it can be seen that the death of Joseph Smith can in no way be compared to the death of Jesus. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me. The apostle Paul or Joseph Smith? “Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to see us, and when he was about leaving, drew a small pistol, a six-shooter, from his pocket, remarking at the same time ‘Would any of you like to have this?’ Brother Joseph immediately replied, ‘Yes, give it to me,’ whereupon he took the pistol, and put it in his pantaloons pocket. Richards dragged Taylor into the jail cell (they had not been held in the cell, but in the guard's room across the hallway). I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood. 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