Mormon History, June 24, 1844

-- June 24, 1844
Monday. Sidney Rigdon, having prophesied that Joseph would die and that Nauvoo would fall, leaves for Pittsburgh with his family.

4:00 A.M. Jedediah M. Grant and Theodore Turley reach Nauvoo from Carthage with a message from an angry Gov. Ford that Joseph must be in Carthage by

10:00 A.M., and that he would not be given an escort by the state to protect him.

6:30 A.M. Joseph and the seventeen others named on the arrest warrant (charged with riot) ride from Nauvoo with several others. As they pass the temple, Joseph says, "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them." Joseph tells Daniel H. Wells, "I wish you to cherish my memory, and not think me the worst man in the world either." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:554.)

9:50 A.M. They are met by Captain Dunn and a militia of 60, four miles west of Carthage. Joseph says, "Do not be alarmed. . . . They can only kill the body." Dunn brings an order from Ford that all state arms of the Nauvoo Legion are to be turned over. Joseph sends one of his men to carry out the order. He then says, "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 toward God and toward all men. If they take my life I shall die an innocent man, and my blood shall cry from the ground for vengeance, and it shall be said of me 'He was murdered in cold blood!' " Captain Dunn then requests that Joseph return to Nauvoo and aid in the surrendering of the arms. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes)


2:30 P.M. Joseph and his men reach Nauvoo and help in gathering the arms at the Masonic Hall. The Nauvoo citizens are frightened and respond very unwillingly.

6:00 P.M. Three cannons and 200 firearms (although rumors claim 30 cannons and 600 firearms) are collected. Joseph goes twice to bid farewell to his family. Before he leaves Emma the last time, she requests a blessing from him. He tells her to write the best one she can think of and he will sign it. In her long handwritten letter, she requests a "fruitful, active mind," "the spirit of discernment," "wisdom to bring up all the children . . . in such a manner that they will be useful ornaments in the kingdom of God," "prudence that I may not through ambition abuse my body and cause it to become old and care-worn, but that I may wear a cheerful countenance," and several other things. Tradition says that after this Emma did not see Joseph again. (More complete versions are in Brigham Young University Studies (various issues), W '74, 216; and Donna Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon 350.) Joseph finally leaves for Carthage. At the Masonic Hall, he says, "Boys, if I don't come b
ack, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter." When he passes hisfarm he says, "If some of you had got such a farm and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time." He later tells Hyrum, privately, "Do not go another foot, for they say they will kill you, if you go to Carthage." When the others ride up, they continue their ride to Carthage. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:558.)

9:00 P.M. They stop at a house four miles west of Carthage for 30 minutes and eat.

11:55 P.M They reach Carthage and go to Hamilton's tavern. The town is full of more than 1400 drinking, celebrating, excited militia troops from nearby towns, including 30 Carthage Greys. They shout curses and threats at the Mormons, until Gov. Ford leans out the window and says, "I know your great anxiety to see Mr. Smith. . . . You shall have that privilege tomorrow morning, as I will cause him to pass before the troops upon the square." The Laws, Higbee, and others are also at Hamilton's tavern. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:559-60.) (1)

-- Jun 25, 1844
Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and several others arrested for the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor. Bail was posted and all, but Joseph and Hyrum, were released; Joseph and Hyrum were kept in jail and charged with treason against Illinois for calling out the Nauvoo Legion. (2)

The general of the Carthage militia signs a secret order for a military attack against Nauvoo, with the march of forces to begin at Golden's Point at 2 p.m., Jun 27, 1844. In Carthage, Joseph Smith is charged with "crime of treason against the government and people of the State of Illinois aforesaid." (3)

The Prophet Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith appear in court in Carthage. Through legal manipulation, they are sent to Carthage Jail on a charge of treason. They are first confined to the criminal's cell, but because of crowded conditions, they are later placed in the more comfortable debtor's cell. (4)

[Joseph Smith] Carthage, Illinois. After Joseph and Hyrum Smith surrendered to the authorities in the morning, Thomas Ford, governor of Illinois, paraded the brothers through the ranks of the troops assembled by his orders from the surrounding counties; the Smiths were in a hearing with the Nauvoo City Council during the day, but were then taken to Carthage Jail that evening on a new charge of treason. (5)

Carthage, Illinois. Joseph Smith wrote a letter to his wife, Emma Smith from Carthage Jail. (5)

1 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
2 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
3 - On This Day in Mormon History,
4 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
5 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith,

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