Mormon History, Thursday 27 June 1844. Jail

-- Thursday 27 June 1844. Jail
[Williard Richards Journal] 3.15. P. M. . . . Taylor sung. "poor way faring man of grief." Hyrum red from Josephus

. . .

5.20. Stigall returned from town and Said Markham was Surrounded by a mob & had gone to Nauvoo and suggested that they would be safer in the jail Joseph said after supper we will go in—Stigall went out.—and Joseph said to Dr. Richards—If we go in the jail will you go in with us.—Dr answered—Bro Joseph you did not ask me to cross the River with you—you did not ask me to come to carthage.—you did not ask me to come to Jail with you—and do you think I would forsake you now.—But I will tell you what I will do if you are condemned to be hung for treason I will be hung in your place stead & you shall go free. Joseph you cannot. Dr said I will.—in a few moments to before 6 o clock before the jailor had come in his boy came in to bring some water & said the guard wanted some wine Joseph gave Dr Richards 2,½ dollars to give the guard—but the guard said one was enough & would take no more. Gouard immediately sent for a bottle of wine, pipe, & 2 small papers of tobacco. & one brought
them in soon after the Jasier went out. Dr topped the bottle presented a glass to Joseph. he toasted Bro Taylor. toasted then Dr Toasted.—gave the bottle to the guard.- who turned to go out. when at the stairstep. some one below called him 2 or 3 times. he went down—a little rustling at the door.—the cry surrender & discharge of 3 or 4 arms followed instantly. Dr glanced an eye by the curtain—saw a 100 amed men around the door.—Joseph Hyrum & Taylor coat were of off—Joseph sprang to his coat for his 6. shooter. Hyrum for his single barrel Taylor for Markhams club cane-- & Dr for Taylors cane—all sprung against the door—the balls whistled up the stair way- & in an instant one came through the door—Joseph Taylor & Richards sprang to the left—Hyrum back in front of the door-- & snapped his pistol.—when a ball struck him in the left side of his nose. fell back on floor saying—I am a dead man Joseph discharged his 6 shooter in the entry reaching round the door casing continual
discharges came in the room. 6 shooter missed fire 2 or 3 times.-- Taylor sprang to leap from the east window-- was shot in the window (1)

-- Jun 27, 1844
5 p.m. - A large group of men approaches Carthage Jail disguised with blackened faces. Joseph Smith at first assumes it is the Nauvoo Legion he has secretly ordered to rescue him. However, major-general Jonathan Dunham has disobeyed orders knowing that a prison escape would beam the annihilation of Nauvoo. Instead the vigilantes storm the upstairs room, instantly killing Hyrum Smith and severely wounding John Taylor. Joseph defends himself with a pistol (smuggled in by Cyrus H. Wheelock who had a written pass from Governor Ford allowing him to go "unmolested" in and out of the jail), fatally wounding two men in the mob. He then jumps out of the window, and begins to shout the Masonic cry of distress: "Oh Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow's son?" Masons in the crowd show no mercy and prop the semi-conscious Smith against a nearby well and shoot him several times at point-blank range. The Carthage Grays arrive at the jail moments later from their encampment half a mi
le away.. Willard Richards is the only one not killed or severely wounded. Mormons immediately attribute this to the fact that he alone wore the undergarment given to endowed persons. (2)

-- June 27, 1844
[Joseph Smith] 6:30 P.M. In Nauvoo, Gov. Ford and his men leave town after a great show of military discipline. Orrin Porter Rockwell later testified that he had overheard one of Ford's men telling him, "The deed is done before this time." Two or three miles from Nauvoo Ford meets two men riding to Nauvoo with the news. Ford holds them until he can get farther away from Nauvoo in case there is a fanatic reaction against him. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:623-24; Harold Schindler, Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder 135.)

8:05 P.M. Willard Richards sends a notice to Nauvoo bearing the news of Joseph and Hyrum's death. On Elder Taylor's request he says that Taylor is wounded "not very badly." He also says that he believes it was a band of Missourians, and the citizens have left for fear of Mormon reprisals. "I promised them no!" At midnight Richards sends a second notice, once again urging the Saints not to take any vengeance. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:621-24.) (3)

-- Jun 27, 1844
Joseph Smith, Jr. is killed in Carthage Jail by a mob of about 200 armed men. The succession crisis begins when news of Smith's death spreads. (4)

While in jail, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum are shot and killed by members of a mob. No one will ever be convicted of the crime. (5)

[Prophecy] Dr. Richards will not have hole in garment - Dr. Richards would not be injured in an altercation. HC 6:619 -- Dr. Richards was not injured. (6)

Lucinda Morgan Harris Smith, plural wife of Joseph Smith and widow of Masonic marter William Morgan is seen "standing at the head of Joseph Smith's body, her face covered, and her whole frame convulsed with weeping. She was the widow of William Morgan, of Masonic memory, . . . I had called on her a few days previous to this occasion, and while conversing with her, put my hand on a gilt-edged volume lying on the stand. It was 'Stearns on Masonry,' and contained the likeness of William Morgan. She said she had taken it out, and thought if the mob did come, and she was obliged to flee, or jump into the Mississippi, she would take it with her." (7)

1 - Williard Richards Journal
2 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on
3 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
4 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology,,_Jr.
5 - Whitney, Helen, Timeline: The Early History of the Mormons, A Frontline and American Experience Co-Production, //
6 - Wikipedia, Prophesies of Joseph Smith,,_Jr.
7 - Grunder, Rick, Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source

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