Mormon History, Jun 25, 1844

-- Jun 25, 1844
[Joseph Smith] Returns and surrenders at Carthage, Illinois. (1)

[Joseph Smith] Voluntarily surrenders to constable at Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, on charges of inciting a riot, language used to describe Joseph's action in destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor; the Prophet then is charged with treason for having declared martial law in Nauvoo. (2)

[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph and Hyrum give themselves up to the civil authorities at 8:00 A.M. and are jailed. (3)

[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph and Hyrum surrender at Carthage to face Expositor riot charge. (4)

-- Jun 25, 1844 (Tuesday)
Joseph Smith and his brethren surrendered themselves to a constable at Carthage and submitted to a trial, after which they were, contrary to law, remanded to prison. (5)

-- Jun 25, 1844, Tuesday
[William Clayton Writings] By the next day Clayton and others were fully persuaded that mobsters were ready to attack the city. One piece of convincing evidence appeared when Joseph Smith's colorful and impetuous bodyguard, Orrin Porter Rockwell, got into a fight with one of the dissenters, Francis M. Higbee. A letter fell out of Higbee's hat, and whoever recovered it read that seventy mobsters were gathered on the Iowa side of the river planning to descend upon Nauvoo that night. As Clayton describe the fight. ``O. P. Rockwell has been whipping F.M. Higbee.'' (6)

-- June 25, 1844
[Joseph Smith] 8:00 A.M. Joseph and Hyrum are arrested for treason by Constable David Bettisworth.

8:30 A.M. The troops fall in line in the public square to listen to an excited speech by Gov. Ford.

9:15 A.M. Gov. Ford marches Joseph in front of a line of soldiers.

9:53 A.M. Joseph, Hyrum, Elders Richards, Taylor, and Phelps, and Gen. Deming march in front of the Carthage Greys and the other soldiers. Deming introduces Joseph and Hyrum as "general," at which time the soldiers break into shouting and throwing their hats and swords. Gov. Ford tells the soldiers that they shall have "full satisfaction." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:564.)

10:30 A.M. News reaches the hotel that the Carthage Greys have revolted and have been put under guard by Gen. Deming.

10:50 A.M. The Greys are restored to order.

11:15 A.M. News arrives that the Warsaw militia has marched to Carthage.

12:48 P.M. Joseph tells Gov. Ford that he wants Nauvoo to be protected; he has heard rumors that the apostates are going there to plunder.1:30 P.M. Mark Aldrich visits Joseph.

2:30 P.M. Gov. Ford tells Joseph he has sent a man to protect Nauvoo. Joseph writes Emma expressing hope of an early release. He also writes Orrin Porter Rockwell, warning him to stay away from Carthage and not allow himself to be arrested.

3:00 P.M. Joseph asks several military officers if they think he looks like a desperate character. They answer that they cannot see into his heart. He replies, "Very true, gentlemen, you cannot see what is in my heart, and you are therefore unable to judge me. . . . I can see what is in your hearts, and will tell you what I see. I can see that you thirst for blood, and nothing but my blood will satisfy you. It is not for crime of any description that I and my brethren are thus continually persecuted. . . . You and the people thirst for blood, I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that you shall witness scenes of blood and sorrow to your entire satisfaction. Your souls shall be perfectly satiated with blood, and many of you who are now present shall have an opportunity to face the cannon's mouth from sources you think not of. . . . They shall seek for peace, and shall not be able to find it. Gentlemen, you will find what I have told you to be true." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:565-66, Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (6 volumes) 2:256-57,270-73 records the fulfillment of this prophecy.)

3:48 P.M. Joseph hears that the apostates have said "that there was nothing against these men; the law could not reach them but powder and ball would, and they should not go out of Carthage alive." He, Hyrum, and thirteen others are taken before Robert F. Smith, a justice of the peace and captain of the Carthage Greys. H. T. Reid and James W. Woods defend the Mormons and argue that this should be a civil, not a criminal, case. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:566-68.)

5:00 P.M. Bail is set at $500 each ($7,500 total). The Saints claim that the judge is trying to set bail at a higher amount than they can afford, but the amount is paid, and the defendants are freed.

6:00 P.M. Captain Dan Jones says he has overheard Wilson Law say that after so much work to get Joseph here alive, they will arrest him on one charge after another and will not allow him to leave. Jones tells Joseph that he witnessed Joseph H. Jackson touch his pistol and say, "the balls are in there that will decide his case." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:568-69.)

7:30 P.M. Most of the brethren leave for Nauvoo. Joseph and Hyrum go to Gov. Ford for an interview.

8:00 P.M. Constable Bettisworth arrives with a mittimus, a warrant committing Joseph and Hyrum to jail on a charge of treason (a different charge from the one for which they had paid bail). Joseph's lawyers, Reid and Woods, argue that such an order without a preliminary investigation or a possibility of paying bail is illegal. Woods requests that he be given time to appeal the order to Gov. Ford. Bettisworth says he will wait five minutes.

9:00 P.M. Woods returns from Gov. Ford, saying that Ford has told him that an executive cannot interfere in a civil judicial process; therefore he will not intervene. Robert F. Smith, who issued the illegal mittimus, is also a captain of the Carthage Greys, and this makes the Mormons highly suspicious of the fairness and legality of these proceedings. Governor Ford has told John Taylor that although he is sorry the order has been issued, "he thought that the best thing to be done in the premises was to let the law take its course. . . . It was a matter over which he had no control, as it belonged to the judiciary; that he, as the executive could not interfere with their proceedings, and that he had no doubt but that they would be immediately dismissed." Justice Robert F. Smith later says he committed Joseph to jail because he did not think the hotel was safe. Captain Dunn and 20 men escort Joseph and Hyrum together with Willard Richards, John Taylor, John P. Greene, StephenMarkham, and four others to jail. As they march through town, they fight off several drunks with their walking sticks. The jailor, George W. Stigall, puts them in the small criminal's cell, but later moves them to the large, more comfortable debtor's apartment, where the ten men spend the night. (This room, however, has several windows and a door that cannot be locked, and is therefore less secure.) (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:570-74.) (7)

1 - Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, 'A Joseph Smith Chronology',
2 - Highlights in the Prophet's Life, Ensign, June 1994
3 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books,
4 - Proctor, Scott and Maurine Jensen, editors, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced
5 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
6 - Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois.
7 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology

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