Mormon History, June 26, 1844

-- June 26, 1844
[Joseph Smith] 12:00 noon Joseph remarks, "I have had a good deal of anxiety about my safety since I left Nauvoo, which I never had before when I was under arrest. I could not help those feelings, and they have depressed me." Joseph and the others take turns preaching to the guards, many of whom become so impressed with Joseph's innocence that they feel guilty guarding him, so they leave. Joseph also comments, "Could my brother, Hyrum, but be liberated, it would not matter so much about me. Poor Rigdon, I am glad he has gone to Pittsburg out of the way; were he to preside he would lead the Church to destruction in less than five years." Joseph's lawyer argues for his release but is turned down. (They cannot be freed until bail is set, and bail for treason, a capital crime, can only be set by a circuit judge. The nearest is at least a day's ride away.)

12:30 P.M. Dr. Bernhisel arrives at the jail.

1:00 P.M. Several threats" If the law will not reach them, powder and ball must" are circulated in the presence of Gov. Ford during lunch.

2:30 P.M. Constable Bettisworth demands that the jailor, Stigall, release the prisoners to him. Stigall refuses on the grounds that by law the justice of the peace can only imprison people, not free them. Threats are made to enforce Justice Robert F. Smith's orders by bringing out his troops, the Carthage Greys. Joseph sends a message to Gov. Ford. conklin

[Joseph Smith] 2:40 P.M. Dr. Bernhisel returns from Ford and says that the governor is doing all he can.

3:00 P.M. Joseph writes his lawyers concerning Bettisworth's recent attempt to take the prisoners.

3:40 P.M. The constable arrives with the Carthage Greys and demands with threats that Joseph be turned over to him. He is. They march Joseph and Hyrum to the courthouse. Joseph, expecting to be shot momentarily, locks arms with the worst mobocrat he can find, and marches with him.

4:45 P.M. After almost an hour of debate about legalities, it is determined that court will be postponed until noon the next day. Subpoenas are granted to get witnesses from Nauvoo (20 miles away).

5:30 P.M. Joseph and Hyrum return to jail with others. Patriarch John Smith, Joseph's uncle, having traveled through several threatening mobs, visits Joseph.

6:00 P.M. Joseph receives several letters.

7:45 P.M. They eat supper.

8:00 P.M. Lawyers Woods and Reid and John P. Greene visit the jail and say that the governor has decided to leave for Nauvoo at 8 o'clock the next morning with all his troops except his 50 most trustworthy. The trial is therefore postponed until June 29. During this time Dan Jones and Stephen Markham try to repair the door latch so it can be shut securely in case of attack.

9:00 P.M. Woods, Reid, and Greene return to Hamilton's hotel.

9:15 P.M. John Taylor prays. Willard Richards, Stephen Markham, Dan Jones, John S. Fullmer, and John Taylor stay with Joseph and Hyrum. Hyrum reads from the Book of Mormon about imprisoned prophets, and Joseph bears his testimony to the guards about the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the gospel, the administration of angels, and the reestablishment of the kingdom of God on earth. He claims these are the real reasons for which he is imprisoned, not because he has broken any law. Willard Richards, to whom Joseph has been dictating during the day, continues to write until the last candle goes out. When a gun fires later in the night, Joseph leaves his bed and lies on the floor between Dan Jones and John Fullmer. During the next few minutes he makes such comments as, "Lay your head on my arm for a pillow, Brother John. . . . I would like to see my family again. . . . I would to God that I could preach to the Saints in Nauvoo once more." Fullmer tries to cheer him up. Willard
Richards takes Joseph's place on the one bed and falls asleep. Joseph asks Dan Jones, "Are you afraid to die?" Dan replies, "Has that time come, think you? Engaged in such a cause I do not think that death would have many terrors." Joseph replies, "You will yet see Wales, and fulfill the mission appointed you before you die." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6: 600-601.) conklin

-- Jun 27, 1844
By this time, he had wed approximately 33 wives ( Per Todd Comptons In Sacred Loneliness. Other authors have different counts, but Todds count is generally accepted by todays historians ). At least 27 others in the Mormon hierarchy had also married multiple women ( Identifying the Earliest Mormon Polygamists, 1841 44, Gary James Bergera, Dialogue volume 38, no 3, Fall 2005, p46 ). This polygamy was exposed by the Nauvoo Expositor, which published only one edition. Joseph and the city council ordered the press destroyed, and the resulting furor resulted in his imprisonment and death from a mob attack. The church was deeply divided. tungate

Joseph Smith writes to Quincy lawyer O. H. Browning for legal counsel. Tidd

The morning of 27 July, Smith sent an order (in his own handwriting) to Major-General Jonathan Dunham to lead the Nauvoo Legion in a military attack on Carthage "immediately" to free the prisoners. Dunham realized that such an assault by the Nauvoo Legion would result in two blood baths, one in Carthage and another when anti-Mormons (and probably the Illinois militia) retaliated by laying siege to Nauvoo for insurrection. To avoid civil war and the destruction of Nauvoo's population, Dunham refused to obey the order and did not notify Smith of his decision. One of his lieutenants, a former Danite, later complained that Dunham "did not let a single mortal know that he had received such orders." Smith orders Nauvoo Legion to free him . Court/Jail PLACE: Carthage Jail, Carthage IL SOURCE: Joseph Smith to Jonathan Dunham, 27 June 1844, in Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, xxv, 616-17; History of the Church, 6:529 referred to this order but neither quoted nor summarized i
t. i4m

1 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
2 - Tungate, Mel, Mormon Polygamy,
3 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
4 - Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline,

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