All hell, boil over! [6] The reliability of these sources is disputed by some Mormons. Strang's followers established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite). ye prosecutors! The judge ordered the Smith brothers to be held in jail until they could be tried for treason, which was a capital offense. He died almost immediately. Richards dragged Taylor into the jail cell (they had not been held in the cell, but in the guard's room across the hallway). Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother, Hyrum Smith, were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, United States, on June 27, 1844, while awaiting trial in the town jail. Violent threats were made against Smith and the Mormon community. [36][37] Others claimed that a fourth unnamed man was also wounded. 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. Orrin Porter Rockwell arrived with a message from his wife who urged her husband to return and give himself up because several of his followers were accusing him of cowardice. His death marked a turning point for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and since then, members of the Latter Day Saint movement have generally viewed him and his brother as religious martyrs who were "murdered in cold blood". Hands to conduct an excavation to find the Smiths' bodies. After the killings, there was speculation about who was responsible. Typically, Christian martyrs are known for willingly and peacefully giving their lives for the cause of Christ. In response to the crisis, Illinois Governor Thomas Ford traveled to Hancock County, and on June 21, he arrived at the county seat in Carthage. '”, “I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, `Oh! I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me. Joseph and Hyrum Smith's bodies were returned to Nauvoo the next day. (This was done to prevent theft or mutilation of the bodies.) “Emily and Eliza Partridge, youthful daughters of deceased church bishop Edward Partridge, had been living in poverty after moving to Nauvoo in early 1840. After briefly fleeing Illinois, Smith returned and the brothers then voluntarily traveled to the county seat at Carthage to face the charges. Joseph Smith boasted that he did more than Jesus to keep a church together. 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. Smith declared martial law in Nauvoo and called on the Nauvoo Legion to protect the city. 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. 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. “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. When I visited the jail in 1980, the glass frame had been removed. Jesus did go like a "lamb to the slaughter," but Joseph Smith died like a raging lion. That affirmation later was denied. He cried out, "I am a dead man!" Wills, Vorhease, and Gallaher, perhaps conscious that their wounds could prove that they were involved in the mob, fled the county after being indicted and were never brought to trial. During the trip to Carthage, Smith reportedly recounted a dream in which he and Hyrum escaped a burning ship, walked on water, and arrived at a great heavenly city. Daniels' account also states that one man tried to decapitate Smith for a bounty, but was prevented by divine intervention. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me—he was murdered in cold blood. 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. “God is in the still small voice. 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.. A schism resulted, with each claimant attracting followers. 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. Matt: No. 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. The apostle Paul or Joseph Smith? ‘He was murdered in cold blood'” (D&C 135:4). Some have alleged that the context of this statement was an attempt by Smith to use a Masonic distress signal. 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. I think it was Captain Jones who went after it, but they would not suffer him to return. In a 1-star review of Mormonism 101 from an LDS reader on Amazon.com, the reviewer rebuts our criticism of Smith’s use of Isaiah 53:7. On June 15, 1828, in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Joseph and Emma’s first son, Alvin, died a short time after birth. 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. Smith returned to Nauvoo, spent the night, and in the morning was told that he had to report to Carthage by 10 a.m. [30] It has been popularly believed that his pocket watch stopped one shot. Joseph and Emma's first three children died … After the attack was over, Richards, who was trained as a medical doctor, went back to see if anyone besides himself had survived, and he found Taylor lying on the floor. Reports are that he survived the fall and was finished off on the ground. 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. Named after Joseph’s close friend and first counselor in the First Presidency, Frederick G. Williams, the second surviving son of the Joseph Smith Jr. family was born in … Hyrum was killed almost immediately when he was shot in the face, shouting as he fell, "I'm a dead man, Joseph!" Both Richards and Taylor survived. 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. Strang claimed that Smith designated him as the successor in a letter that was received a week before Smith's death. From that moment on everything changed, making any comparison to an innocent lamb or a willing martyr a perversion of the facts. Foster, a co-publisher of the Expositor, reported on June 12 that not only was the printing press destroyed, but that "several hundred minions ... injured the building very materially". Rigdon's followers were known as Rigdonites, some of which later established The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite). Wasson. I believe we all drank of the wine, and gave some to one or two of the prison guards. 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. Richards, 1844; D&C 135; Oaks and Hill, 1979; Quinn, 1994. April 5 Harmony, Pennsylvania: Oliver Cowdery arrives from New York and work on the translation recommences on Apr 7. He had a pass from the governor instructing the jailors to let him pass unmolested. This too ended with the defendants being found not guilty. [37] Wills, Vorhease, Gallaher, and a Mr. Allen (possibly the fourth man) were all indicted for the murder of the Smith brothers. Absolutely. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. Father Smith once ran a store and also taught school, but he regularly farmed until Alvin reached his teens. Twin of Julia, birth son of Julia Clapp Murdock and John Murdock who upon his wife's death in childbirth gave the infants to the Smiths for adoption. Smith, therefore, did not. The coffins bearing the bodies of the Smith brothers were initially buried under the unfinished Nauvoo House, then disinterred and deeply reburied under an out-building on the Smith homestead. Also, listen to the following Viewpoint on Mormonism podcasts: Your generous support makes the work of MRM possible. Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”. Joseph Smith (1805–1844), the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, secretly taught and practiced polygamy during his ministry, and married multiple women during his lifetime. Taylor was shot four or five times and was severely wounded, but survived. On page 52, Oaks and Hill include the following: Wills, Voras, and Gallaher were probably named in the indictment because their wounds, which testimony showed were received at the jail, were irrefutable evidence that they had participated in the mob. 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? News of the death of Joseph Smith raced through the country. Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church,[43] but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. The majority of Latter Day Saints followed Young; these adherents later emigrated to Utah Territory and continued as the LDS Church. Conflict over the issues of plurality of wives and other ‘ultraist’ doctrines, including plurality of gods, had grown within the circle of Mormon leaders until an open break occurred in the spring of 1844. The upper level had two rooms, one equipped with steel bars and the other styled more like a regular bedroom. Most of his … 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. 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. 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. 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. As Smith prepared to jump down, Richards reported that he was shot twice in the back and that a third bullet, fired from a musket on the ground outside, hit him in the chest. Heber J. [38] Apart from Taylor's report of what he had heard, there is no evidence that Wills, Vorhease, Gallaher, or Allen died from their wounds.[39]. Joseph Smith Murdock* April 30, 1831 – March 29, 1832 (age 10 months) *Adopted. Townsend, being among those who forced that jail door at Carthage, and was wounded in the arm near the shoulder, from the effects of which he died in about six months.” In that same footnote, Roberts cites some of the information supplied by Oaks and Hill above, including the wounds sustained by Wills, Voras, and Gallaher. In the preface of volume one (page x) he notes that the manuscript was reviewed by several prominent leaders in the LDS Church, including members of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. There is no question that many modern LDS continue to make the messianic comparison. 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. Bereavement at the death of loved ones repeatedly touched the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. 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. Paul states that no man can see God (the Father). Shortly after the events occurred, Taylor wrote that he heard that two of the attackers died when Smith shot them with his pistol. 9 Geo. Hands conducted extensive digging on the Smith homestead and located the bodies, as well as finding the remains of Joseph's wife, Emma, who was buried in the same place. Five men were indicted for the killings but were acquitted at a jury trial. Hay described Voras (Voorhees) as a “half-grown hobbledehoy from Bear Creek” whom Joseph shot in the shoulder. On June 7 they issued the first and only edition of their paper.”. From the Life of Joseph Smith. He said Smith was "the most successful impostor in modern times,"[40] and that some people "expect more protection from the laws than the laws are able to furnish in the face of popular excitement."[41]. The act was carried out as ordered on June 10th. The municipal court of Nauvoo, composed of Mormons sympathetic to Smith, did not see it this way and acquitted all of the accused. [19] Most visitors were rigidly searched,[20] but the guards forgot to check Wheelock's overcoat,[21] and he was able to smuggle the gun to Smith. According to Hay, Wills, whom the Mormon prophet had shot in the arm, was an Irishman who had joined the mob from “his congenital love of a brawl.” Gallaher was a young man from Mississippi who was shot in the face. Smith’s decision to use the smuggled pistol demonstrates that he did not have any intention of voluntarily laying down his life. We all of us felt unusually dull and languid, with a remarkable depression of spirits. 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.[1]. The Expositor further reported that eight of Smith's wives had already been married to other men (four were Mormon men in good standing, who in a few cases acted as witnesses in Smith's marriage to his wife) at the time they married Smith. Frederick Granger Williams Smith. and collapsed. According to the testimony of John Taylor, Smith commented. In his book Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi, author Robert B. Flanders lays the groundwork for what was to become one of the darker days in Mormon history. Joseph Smith was shot near the window, not the door. Van Buren said he could do nothing to help. 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? While this may be true to a point, it was only true until Smith accepted the offer of Wheelock’s pistol. To hear Mormons tell the story, Smith did no wrong; for others, he did no right. No one has seen God the Father. Rigdon was the senior surviving member of the First Presidency, a body that had led the movement since 1832. There were no bars on this room, and the door was so warped that it would not latch. John Wills was shot in the arm, William Vorhease was shot in the shoulder, and William Gallaher was shot in the face. Alvin Smith, the eldest of the Smith sons, was born on 11 February 1798 in Tunbridge, Vermont. Not hardly! Smith’s arrogance and reckless actions set in motion his ultimate demise. Taylor eventually became the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). 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). When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. Hyrum was shot in the face, just to the left of his nose, which threw him to the floor. Richards, physically the largest of the Mormon captives, escaped unscathed; Lyon speculates that after the door opened, Smith was in the line of sight and Richards was not targeted. The remains—which were badly decomposed—were examined and photographed, and the bodies were reinterred close by in Nauvoo. Its first and only issue was published June 7, 1844. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!! This rash decision caused the publishers to go to the nearby town of Carthage to obtain an arrest warrant for Smith and the council, charging them with riot. 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. His grandfather, Asael Smith, lost most of his property in Topsfield, Massachusetts, during the economic … Before a trial could be held, a mob of about 200 armed men, their faces painted black with wet gunpowder, stormed the Carthage Jail in the late afternoon of June 27, 1844. 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. According to Smith, an angel named Moroni directed him to a buried book of golden plates hidden at the Hill Cumorah and as per the instruction of the angel he translated the book and published it as the ‘Book of Mormon’. 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. for I will come out on the top at last. Most of his supporters switched with him, adding political tensions to the social suspicions in which the Mormons were held by the local populace. 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. 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. His death at age 25 resulted in his younger brother Joseph taking more of a leading role in family affairs. my poor, dear brother Hyrum!’ He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. On page 308 Flanders writes: “When an opportunity to murder Smith finally came, it grew paradoxically out of events within the Mormon Church. Smith returned to Illinois and vowed to join the Whig Party. Van Buren said he could do nothing to help. As the mob was approaching, the jailer became nervous, and informed Smith of the group. A number of prominent men withdrew and formed their own reform church. Joseph Smith died for “what he believed in” in the same way that Jeffery Epstein did. The mob violence is due to the fact that Smith had effectively used … Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith was a farm boy from New York who, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe, was selected by God to be a prophet. [24], Smith, Taylor, and Richards attempted to defend themselves. [35], There have been conflicting reports about injuries to members of the mob during the attack, and whether any died. How did Joseph Smith die? Smith returned to Illinois and vowed to join the Whig Party. Smith used the pistol that Wheelock had given him earlier that day. John Taylor also testified:“Elder Cyrus H. Wheelock came in to … They were told at the time that it was the blood of Joseph Smith that was shed for the church. 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. 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. Emma Smith invited Emily to live in the Smith home to care for the Smiths’ baby, Don Carlos, who was born 13 June 1840. [33] Mob members fled, shouting, "The Mormons are coming," although there was no such force nearby.[34]. Am I somehow condoning Smith’s death? A footnote on page 285 of volume two cites the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Perhaps not. To ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. Taylor and Richards' accounts state that Smith was dead when he hit the ground. Again they were acquitted. [16], Governor Ford left for Nauvoo not long after Smith was jailed. 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. Lucy died May 8, 1856, in Nauvoo, Illinois. They named him Alvin. Taylor and Richards used a long walking stick in order to deflect the guns as they were thrust inside the room, from behind the door. At a preliminary hearing that afternoon, the Council members were released on $500 bonds, pending later trial. [32] Additional reports said that thunder and lightning frightened off the mob. Joseph Smith Jr. (December 23, 1805 – June 27, 1844) was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. [42] The defense was led by Orville Hickman Browning, later a United States Senator and cabinet member. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, he was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. Alvin’s Life and Death. In order to have this matter settled, Ford believed that Smith and the others who were originally charged should submit themselves to the constable at Carthage (David Bettisworth) and there await trial. 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. His close associates, including most of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were away on missions and other assignments. Like most stories, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. 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. See also The Gospel Kingdom, p.358). Early years. [5]:v6,p430 Based on allegations by some of these associates, the newspaper reported that Smith practiced polygamy and that he tried to marry wives of some of his associates. 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. When Roberts was commissioned by the LDS First Presidency to produce what came to be known as History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a.k.a., History of the Church, or Documentary History of the Church), he again chose to include Taylor’s remark when this seven-volume set began being published in 1902. 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.[17]. ‘He was murdered in cold blood'” (D&C 135:4). 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. ", 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. Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of lineal succession. 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