Mormon History, June 27, 1844

-- June 27, 1844
[Joseph Smith] 10:30 A.M. Gov. Ford and his troops leave for Nauvoo. Joseph sends Dan Jones to request a pass for Willard Richards.

11:00 A.M. John S. Fullmer leaves for Nauvoo to help Cyrus Wheelock gather witnesses for the upcoming trial. James W. Woods, Joseph's lawyer, leaves Carthage for Nauvoo.

11:20 A.M. Dan Jones returns with the pass for Willard Richards, but cannot get one for himself.

11:30 A.M. Almon W. Babbitt comes to the jail and reads a letter from Oliver Cowdery. Joseph and others try to get Dan Jones past the guards but cannot.

12:20 P.M. Joseph sends a letter to a lawyer named Browning asking him to be Joseph's attorney in the upcoming trial. Babbitt gives the letter to Jones and directs him to take it to Quincy, Ill. The guard thinks it is a letter for Nauvoo and claims that "Old Joe" has sent orders to raise the Nauvoo Legion. Dozens of men try to ambush Jones to get the letter, but he accidentally goes the wrong way and eludes them.

1:15 P.M. Joseph, Hyrum, Willard Richards, John Taylor, and Stephen Markham eat lunch.

1:30 P.M. Willard Richards gets an upset stomach. When Stephen Markham is sent out for medicine, the Carthage Greys throw him on a horse and run him out of town at bayonet point. (1)

[Joseph Smith] 3:15 P.M. The guards become "more severe" and argue among themselves. John Taylor sings the full seven verses of "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief." Joseph asks him to sing it again, but John does not feel like doing so. Hyrum tells him, "Oh, never mind: commence singing and you will get the spirit of it." He sings. Hyrum reads extracts of Josephus. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:614-15; Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (6 volumes) 2:284.)

4:00 P.M. The guard is changed. Only eight guards remain at the jail, while the remainder camp a quarter mile away. (Some later testified that by this time the jailers' guns were only loaded with blanks.) Gov. Ford arrives in Nauvoo. The Saints assemble and he speaks to them. Among other things he says, "A great crime has been done by destroying the Expositor press and placing the city under martial law, and a severe atonement must be made, so prepare your minds for the emergency. . . . I know there is a great prejudice against you on account of your peculiar religion, but you ought to be praying Saints, not military Saints. Depend upon it, a little more misbehavior from the citizens, and the torch, which is already lighted, will be applied, the city may be reduced to ashes, and extermination would inevitably follow." At the end of his speech he asks for a show of hands as to who would obey the law even in opposition to the Prophet, and the Saints vote unanimously that they
wouldsustain the law. (Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (6 volumes) 2:278-79; History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:623.) (1)

-- 1844. June 27
(John Taylor): Jailed with Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and Willard Richards in Carthage, Illinois. To cheer up the group, Taylor sang "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief." He suggested escape to the Prophet: "If you permit it, and say the word, I will have you out of this prison in five hours, if the jail has to come down to do it." The offer was refused. Asked to sing the song again, Taylor said he did not feel like singing. Hyrum entreated, "Oh, never mind; commence singing and you will get the spirit of it." Shortly after Taylor completed the song again, an armed mob overwhelmed the guard and rushed up the stairs to the prisoner's room while gunmen outside fired into the building:

"After parrying the guns for some time, which now protruded thicker and farther into the room, and seeing no hope of escape or protection there, as we were now unarmed, it occurred to me that we might have some friends outside, and that there might be some chance of escape in that direction but here there seemed to be none. As I expected them every moment to rush into the roomâ€"nothing but extreme cowardice having thus far kept them outâ€"as the tumult and pressure increased, without any other hope, I made a spring for the window, which was right in front of the jail door where the mob was standing, and also exposed to the fire of the Carthage Greys. …

"I was struck by a ball from the door about midway of my thigh, which struck the bone, and flattened out almost the size of a quarter of a dollar, and then passed on through the fleshy part to within about half an inch of the outside. I think some prominent nerve must have been severed or injured for as soon as the ball struck me, I fell like a bird when shot, or an ox when struck by a butcher, and lost entirely and instantaneously all power of action or locomotion. I fell upon the window-sill, and cried out, 'I am shot!'

"Not possessing any power to move, I felt myself falling outside of the window, but immediately I fell inside, from some, at that time, unknown cause. When I struck the floor my animation seemed restored, as I have seen it sometimes in squirrels and birds after being shot. As soon as I felt the power of motion I crawled under the bed, which was in a corner of the room, not far from the window where I received my wound.

"While on my way and under the bed I was wounded in three other places; one ball entered a little below the left knee, and never was extracted; another entered the forepart of my left arm, a little above the wrist, and, passing down by the joint, lodged in the fleshy part of my hand, about midway, a little above the upper joint of my little finger; and another struck me on the fleshy part of my left hip, and tore away the flesh as large as my hand, dashing the mangled fragments of flesh and blood against the wall."

When he reached Nauvoo, Taylor and his family were "not a little startled to find that my watch had been struck with a ball. I sent for my vest, and, upon examination, it was found that there was a cut as if with a knife, in the vest pocket which had contained my watch. In the pocket the fragments of the glass were found literally ground to powder. It then occurred to me that a ball had struck me at the time I felt myself falling out of the window, and that it was this force that threw me inside." (2)

1 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
2 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons,

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