Mormon History, Jun 17, 1844

-- Jun 17, 1844
Hyrum Smith sends letters to the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, recommending their immediate return to Nauvoo. (1)

-- Jun 17, 1844 (Monday)
Mobs began to gather in the surrounding country, threatening to drive the Saints from Nauvoo. (2)

-- Jun 18, 1844
[Brigham Young] --18-- I went to Salem, and saw my daughter Vilate. (3)

Joseph Smith says the Holy Ghost is waiting to take a body like Jesus Christ and the Gods before him. (4)

Because of serious threats made by the enemies of the Church, Joseph Smith orders the Nauvoo Legion to protect Nauvoo and address the men, giving his last public discourse. (5)

[Joseph Smith] Joseph proclaims martial law in the city of Nauvoo. The Legion and the police force are ordered out, and the 5,000 men of the Nauvoo Legion line up close to the Mansion House. Joseph stands on the top of the frame of the building in full uniform to address them, which he does for an hour and a half. This is his last public oration. He notes that the Saints are innocent of the charges that are being put against them. But he says that as American citizens, it is time to stand up for their rights. He draws his sword and raises it to heaven and says, "I call God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed my sword with a firm and unalterable determination that this people shall have their legal rights, and be protected from mob violence, or my blood shall be spilt upon the ground like water, and my body consigned to the silent tomb. . . . I do not regard my own life. I am ready to be offered a sacrifice for this people; for what can our enemies do? Only kill the b
ody, and their poweris then at an end. Stand firm, my friends; never flinch. Do not seek to save our lives, for he that is afraid to die for the truth, will lose eternal life." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:498-500.) (6)

Amid threats of violence concerning the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, Joseph Smith, Jr., as mayor, declares martial law in Nauvoo and activates the Nauvoo Legion, a private militia of about 5,000 men. (7)

[Joseph Smith Diary] June 18th 1844, Tuesday 9 A.M. [the Nauvoo] Legion assembled and organized. Just before was informed some boxes of arms were landed at the upper stone house and /were/ secured by the Marshal. Soon after it was discovered said arms (40 stands) were sent by [blank] and the Marshall bought them for the city.

About 2 P.M. the Legion was drawn up on the corner of the street by the Mansion. L[i]eut[enant] Gen[eral] Joseph Smith in uniform stood on the top of the gro[w]ing frame and addressed the Legion. /About 2 o'clock/ [Joseph] proclaimed the City under Marshal Law /and caused written orders to [be] issue[d] in his name/. Judge Phelps read the Warsaw "Signal extra" of the 17th inst[ant] when all the citizens were called upon [to] assist the mob. Gen[eral] J[oseph] Smith called upon all men from the Rocky Mountains to the ocean to come to his assistance.

About 3 [P.M.] [the] Legion marched up Main St[reet] under command of acting Major Gen[eral] Dunham. L[i]eut[enant] Gen[eral] [Smith] and staff [were] riding in front. The number was large and inspiring considering the number who were gone preaching.

Truman Gillet Jun[ior] made affidavit /before the Recorder/ about W[illia]m Law (on file).

8 [P.M.] eve wrote to H. T. Hugins Esqu[ire] (and Dr. Hicko[c]k) in same [letter]. Sent per Dr. Wakefield to Burlington.

9 [P.M.] messengers arrived from Carthage. Mob had received inteligence from Gov[ernor] who would take no notice of them and they damned the Gov[ernor] as being as bad as Joe Smith. Did not care for him [and would] be as willing [to act even if] he would not help. Some 50 men in Carthage meeting at Fountain Green which attracted their attention. Reported by police Roundy.

At 10 o'clock after L[i]eut[enant] Gen[eral] had retired [it was reported] that Norton had threatened to shoot Joseph. Examination was immediately had but no proof found. (8)

Smith declares martial law and, in speaking to the Nauvoo legion, gives his last public address. Smith declares martial law, gives last public address to Nauvoo Legion . PLACE: Nauvoo, IL SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.497-500 (9)

-- Jun 18, 1844 (Tuesday Afternoon)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] (Location: Frame Building, Near Mansion House, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, USA

Source: William Clayton Diary -Words of Joseph Smith, 383) Joseph Smith to the Nauvoo Legion his Last adress in which he called for all philanthropic men from Main to the Rocky Mountains & from the East & the west & from the North & the south to the help of this people also he cursed the Mob.â€"with thunder & lightning & the sword plague Earthquakes & pestilence & devouring fire. (10)

-- Jun 18, 1844 (Tuesday)
The Nauvoo Legion was ordered out and the city declared under martial law, by the proclamation of the mayor, Joseph Smith. The Prophet delivered his last public address. An extra of the Warsaw Signal was read, in which all the "old citizens" were called upon to assist the mob in driving away the Saints. (2)

1 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (
2 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
3 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
4 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
5 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
6 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
7 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology,,_Jr.
8 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
9 - Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline,
10 - The Woodland Institute,

LDS History Timeline
About this site:

No comments:

Post a Comment