Events leading to carthage martyrdom

Six months before the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, the citizens of Nauvoo, Ill., nominated Joseph as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States.

Although few seriously considered his election, the saints were at least assured an advocate for their rights against oppression. Ironically, however, it was Joseph's nomination that began the spiral of events leading to his brutal murder.Following is a brief summary of events leading up to the martyrdom:

June 10, 1844 - John Greene and others broke into the office of the anti-Mormon newspaper, Nauvoo Expositor, and destroyed the press as ordered by the mayor and city council of Nauvoo. The paper had been filled with vile and malicious slanders against the Prophet and the leading citizens of Nauvoo.

June 11 - Nauvoo was placed under martial law because of threats of mob vengeance.

June 16 - Joseph wrote Illinois Gov. Thomas Ford, requesting the governor come to Nauvoo to quell a growing insurrection. Instead, Gov. Ford went to Carthage, Ill., and by letter, in an effort to find favor with the mob, falsely accused the Prophet of violated laws.

June 22 - Joseph, Hyrum and others started their journey to the West in an effort to flee the mob; upon accusation of cowardice, however, Joseph decided to return to Nauvoo. Two days later, they left for Carthage to submit to yet another trial.

June 25 - Joseph and Hyrum were arrested on a charge of treason and falsely imprisoned in Carthage Jail.

June 27 - The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, were killed by a mob.


Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the gospel doctrine course of study.

Information compiled by Gerry Avant and Elayne Wells

Sources: History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, by Lucy Mack Smith; Joseph Smith, Martyr, Prophet of God by Francis M. Gibbons; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith; Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson; Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, by Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl; Essentials in Church History, by Joseph Fielding Smith; A Chronology of the Doctrine and Covenants, by Dell Van Orden and Gerry Avant.

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