The Culture of Violence in Joseph Smith’s Mormonism–Part II

Continued from Part I

C.C.A. Christensen: Detail from “Saints Driven from Jackson County Missourri”

One 24 September 1835, notwithstanding the absence of an external threat, Joseph Smith organized militarily in Kirtland. He proposed “by the voice of the Spirit of the Lord” to raise another Mormon army “to live or die on our own lands, which we have purchased in Jackson County, Missouri.” His manuscript diary concluded in his own handwriting: “I ask God in the name of Jesus that we may obtain Eight hundred men (or one thousand) well armed and that they may ac[c]omplish this great work.”[i] A thousand-man army was a remarkable goal for an organization with fewer than nine thousand men, women, and children, which may be why the official LDS history changed the phrase to “one thousand emigrants.”[ii] John Whitmer, who was official Church Historian at this time, added something that Smith’s diary left unstated: on this day, the high council “by revelation” appointed the LDS president as head of the “war department” of the “Lord’s Host.”[iii]

This was a significant expansion of Joseph’s previous role as commander-in-chief of the armies of Israel because “war department” assumed crucial circumstances. First, he used the phrase which defined the jurisdiction of the U.S. Secretary of War, and this implied a nationalistdimension in Mormonism. Second, given that the U.S. War Department was a permanent function, in war or peace,[iv] the Prophet’s military oversight was also permanent. Third, as head of Mormonism’s “war department,” Smith did not need to be a line officer in the field during hostilities. Like the U.S. Secretary of War, Joseph now had oversight of all Mormon military operations. Fourth, he had no mortal superior andthus combined in himself roles that the U.S. government found it wise to separate in time of war—military command and civilian oversight. The fact that his diary stated his military goals for Missouri but did not reveal his actual organizational responsibility may indicate that the Prophet wanted to be an unseen hand to outside observers of Mormon military ventures.[v] If so, the Prophet failed in his intention: in May 1836, a hostile resident referred to Kirtland’s Mormons as “a military array of ragamuffins, headed by the modern Mohammed.”[vi]

Furthermore, tensions with non-Mormons at Kirtland led Joseph Smith to take an extraordinary step in November 1836. He and eleven other general authorities (including four of his counselors in the First Presidency) joined with fifty-nine other Mormons in signing a warning to the non-LDS justice of the peace to “depart forthwith out of Kirtland.” Of those who signed this warning against Kirtland’s judicial officer, at least a dozen later joined the “Danites” in Missouri; this 1836 document foreshadowed their activities less than two years later.[vii] John Whitmer was probably referring to this November ultimatum when he lamentedthe beginning of “secret combinations” in Kirtland “in the fall of 1836.”[viii]

In another incident about which Smith’s personal diary and official history are completely silent, he was acquitted in June 1837 of conspiring to murder anti-Mormon Grandison Newell. The silence may be due to the fact that two of Joseph’s supporting witnesses in the case, both apostles, acknowledged that the Prophet discussed with them the possibility of killing Newell. Apostle Orson Hyde testified that “Smith seemed much excited and declared that Newell should be put out of the way, or where the crows could not find him; he said that destroying Newell would be justifiable in the sight of God, that it was the will of God, &c.” Hyde tried to be helpful by adding that he had “never heard Smith use similar language before,” insisting further: “I have known him for some time and think him to be possessed of much kindness and humanity towards his fellow beings.” Likewise, apostle Luke S. Johnson acknowledged to the court that Joseph had said “if Newell or any other man should head a mob against him, they ought to be put out of the way, and it would be our duty to do so.” However, Johnson also affirmed: “I believe Smith to be a tender-hearted, humane man.” Whether or not the court agreed with that assessment, the judge acquitted Joseph because there was insufficient evidence to support the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.[ix]

In the fall of 1837, David W. Patten investigated the Prophet’s secret relationship with his servant girl Fanny Alger,[x] and the hapless apostle collided with Smith’s code of male honor. Brigham Young described what happened: “David in[sult]ed Joseph & Joseph slap[p]ed him in the face & kicked him out of the yard.”[xi]

However, the Mormon Prophet’s code of honor took offense at far lesser provocations. Benjamin F. Johnson reminisced that “criticism, even by his associates, was rarely acceptable, and contradiction would rouse in him the lion at once, for by no one of his fellows would he be superseded or disputed and in the early days at Kirtland, and elsewhere[,] one or more of his associates were more than once, for their impudence, helped from the congregation by his (Joseph’s) foot.”[xii]

When armed dissenters joined anti-Mormons in forcing the Prophet and his loyal followers to flee Kirtland in January 1838,[xiii] this event solidified a world view that was indelible throughout the rest of the nineteenth century: Mormonism was fighting for its life against conspiracies of anti-Mormons and Mormon traitors. Every generation of the Mormon hierarchy remembers this heritage of anti-Mormon persecutors and collaborating apostates. This is the context in which, as Marvin S. Hill observed, “the desire for refuge from pluralism and the uncertainty of choice in a free society encouraged a quest to eliminate opposition both within and without the [LDS] Church through intimidation and, when necessary, violence.”[xiv]

Some of Kirtland’s dissenters also resettled at the new Mormon headquarters of Far West, Missouri, where they associated with local dissenters. Joseph and his loyal followers were determined to prevent these formerly faithful leaders from causing mass disaffection a second time. They pursued this aim through an organization which functioned both militarily and theocratically.

In early June 1838, Sampson Avard—who considered himself an ultra-loyal Mormon—proposed organizing the “Danites” among other ultra-loyal Mormons. The Danites were the first civil appendage of Mormon power since 1834. Some historians have claimed that Joseph Smith and the rest of the First Presidency were unaware of the Danite organization,[xv] but documentary evidence shows otherwise.

Quoting from his daily journal, founding member William Swartzell later wrote that the Danites organized formally as the “Daughters of Zion” in June 1838 at Far West, taking their nickname from the prophecy of Daniel about the stone cut out of the mountain without hands (Daniel 2: 44–45).[xvi]While the organization was still functioning, loyal LDS member Albert P. Rockwood wrote in 1838: “the Companies are called Danites because the Prophet Daniel has said [Daniel 7: 18] the Saints shall take the kingdom and possess it for-ever.”[xvii]

Two weeks after the formation of a second group at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri, John Smith (who was both stake president and a special counselor in the First Presidency) called the organization “the Danites” in his diary. He also described Danite meetings as routine events.[xviii]

Soon this militant group developed an infamous reputation for its intimidation of Mormon dissenters and its warfare against anti-Mormon militia units. Joseph Smith cited those two purposes in his journal (called a “Scriptory Book”) to explain why “we have a company of Danites in these times.”[xix] Sidney Rigdon, first counselor in the First Presidency, later made a similar statement in the official LDS newspaper.[xx]

Thus the Prophet’s own diary corroborates the later statement by Ebenezer Robinson, who remained a believing Mormon but regretted his Danite activities: “Both Joseph Smith, jr. and Sidney Rigdon sanctioned and favored the only organization of ‘Danites’ of which the writer has any knowledge.”[xxi]

On 17 June 1838, Sidney Rigdon preached his “Salt Sermon” as a warning that Mormon dissenters would “be cast out and trodden under foot of men.”[xxii] Rather than simply being an echo of Matthew 5: 13, Rigdon’s sermon was restating what an 1834 revelation had authorized the First Presidency to do to Mormons who “hearken not to observe all my words” (D&C 103:8–10).

The next day, Second Counselor Hyrum Smith and his uncle John Smith (an Assistant Counselor in the First Presidency) joined with Danite leader Sampson Avard (the first signatory) and eighty other Danites insigning a threatening letter to Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Lyman E. Johnson, and William W. Phelps. Presidency counselor John Smith was the only general authority who signed both this 1838 warning and the earlier warning to Kirtland’s justice of the peace. This Danite threat instructed these excommunicated dissenters to “depart, or a more fatal calamity shall befall you.”[xxiii]

Ebenezer Robinson, who also signedthe Danite document, later wrote that all the signers were members of the recently organized Danite “military organization.” He added that he was told in June 1838 that the document itself “was gotten up in the office of the First Presidency.”[xxiv] Avard specified that Counselor Rigdon wrote the text of this Danite ultimatum.[xxv] Although the Danites had been organized primarily for external security against the possibility of Missouri mobs,[xxvi] they now functioned as an organization for internal security—to intimidate and possibly kill dissenting Mormons.

Indeed, Joseph Smith’s “Scriptory Book” journal showed that the Prophet intended the Danites to use force against LDS dissidents: “we have a company of Danites in these times, to put to right physically that which is not right, and to cleanse the Church of verry [sic] great evils . . .” (emphasis added).[xxvii] The fact that the Danite death threat was written by Joseph’s first counselor Sidney Rigdon, signed by second counselor Hyrum Smith, and co-signed by assistant counselor John Smith indicates that the First Presidency had thorough knowledge of the Danite organization in mid-1838 and crucial participation with its violent manifestations from the outset.

Speaking of the prominent dissidents who received this death threat in June, Joseph Smith’s “Scriptory” journal noted: “These men took warning, and soon they were seen bounding over the prairie like the scape Goat to carry of[f] their own sins.”[xxviii] Unable to see the situation in such lighthearted terms, dissenter John Whitmer wrote: “While we were gone[,] Jo. & Rigdon & their band of gadiantons kept up a guard and watched our houses and abused our families and threatened them if they were not gone by morning they would be drove out & threatened our lives if they [the Danites] ever saw us in Far West.”[xxix] “Gadianton” was a Book of Mormon term for thieves and murderers who were bound by secret oaths (Helaman 6: 18, 24, 26).

The Danites’ 1838 ultimatum was not an irregularity in Mormonism but a direct fulfillment of a revelation four years earlier concerning unfaithful Latter-day Saints “who call themselves after my name” (D&C 103: 4). Stephen C. LeSueur observed: “The Danite organization was the product of, not an aberration from, Mormon attitudes and teachings. The Danites represented mainstream Mormonism.”[xxx] Despite trying to put the best face possible on this event, Leland H. Gentry acknowledged: “The method chosen by the Latter-day Saints to rid themselves of their dissenting Brethren was unfortunate since it furnished the dissenters with further proof that the Saints were inimical to law and order.”[xxxi]

Regarding the Danite expulsion of prominent Mormon dissenters, Sidney Rigdon told apostle Orson Hyde at Far West that “it was the imperative duty of the Church to obey the word of Joseph Smith, or the presidency, without question or inquiry, and that if there were any that would not, they should have their throats cut from ear [to] ear.” Remarkably, an official LDS newspaper later published this verification of the First Presidency’s 1838 authorization for theocratic killings.[xxxii] Rigdon was, after all, merely restating in 1838 what the Prophet had said a year earlier about Grandison Newell—”that Newell should be put out of the way, or where the crows could not find him; he [Joseph Smith] said that destroying Newell would be justifiable in the sight of God, that it was the will of God, &c.”

Benjamin Slade, a lifelong Mormon, soon testified that counselor Rigdon referred to carrying out that threat in mid-1838. “Yesterday a man had slipped his wind, and was thrown into the bush,” Rigdon told a closed-door meeting of Mormon men (apparently Danites), adding: “the man that lisps it shall die.”[xxxiii]

On 4 July, a month before the county election, the First Presidency virtually dared the Missourians to try to stop Mormons from exercising their civil liberties: “It shall be between us and them a war of extermination,” counselor Rigdon warned, “for we will follow them, till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us.”[xxxiv] Joseph Smith published this Independence Day talk as a pamphlet, advertised it in the LDS periodical, and explained that Rigdon’s sermon expressed “the fixed determinations of the saints, in relation to the persecutors . . . for to be mob[b]ed any more without taking vengeance we will not.”[xxxv]

Non-Mormons were determined to prevent Mormons from voting in Daviess County, which resulted in violence at the county seat of Gallatin in August 1838. “The first thing that came to my mind was the covenants entered into by the Danites,” wrote lifelong Mormon John L. Butler of this incident. He rallied the dozen other Mormons at the voting place by shouting: “O yes, you Danites, here is a job for us.” Among the Danites he rallied to fight the Missourians was Samuel H. Smith, Book of Mormon witness and brother of the LDS president. This account was included in the LDS Church’s official “Journal History.”[xxxvi]Although there were no fatalities, this election-day “battle” between self-professed Danites and anti-Mormons started a virtual civil war that engulfed four Missouri counties.[xxxvii]

In retaliation for raids against isolated Mormon farms, Mormon forces (primarily, if not exclusively, Danites) pillaged two non-Mormon towns. “There is no question,” wrote BYU professor William G. Hartley, “that Latter-day Saint rangers burned buildings at Millport and Gallatin,” including the U.S. post office and county treasurer’s office. In the most candid account ever written by a Utah Mormon historian about the Missouri Danites, he also acknowledged: “It is certain that some of the Missouri Danites played the thief, and it is possible, although unproven, that one or two were murderers.”[xxxviii]

However, Hartley’s comparison of the Danites with the National Guard was a flawed attempt at “balanced assessment,” since the Danites were religious vigilantes, not legally commissioned soldiers. Likewise, Hartley’s comparisonfails in defining Danite atrocities as “wartime . . . military actions,” when in fact the Danite acts of “arson, vandalism, and robbery” were what they appeared to be, “clearly crimes” (his quotes). These Mormon crimes may have been understandable responses to even more savage attacks, but the retaliation was illegal by any definition. Worse, the Danites targeted a whole class of individuals—non-Mormons in general—rather than the specific perpetrators of the attacks for which Mormons sought revenge.[xxxix]

Describing Danite security arrangements for August 1838, the manuscript autobiography of loyal Mormon Luman A. Shurtliff revealed that Joseph Smith was also a Danite. Between two discussions of Danite “sighns [sic] and passwords” and the Danite “countersign,” Shurtliff noted how the LDS President and his brother Hyrum Smith (a Danite by mid-June 1838 as well as Joseph’s second counselor in the First Presidency) gave the necessary “countersign” as the two approached Shurtliff, who was the night sentry. A little further in his narrative, Shurtliff added that while he was on guard duty with newly appointed apostle John Taylor, “I did not feel at liberty to use any sighn [sic] or password” because “Br Taylor was not a Danite.”[xl] However, like Hyrum, Joseph Smith was a Danite, and they both used the Danite countersign.[xli]

Justus Morse, a Danite, listened to Joseph Smith authorize a Danite meeting (apparently after the Gallatin fight) to “suck the milk of the gentiles.” Morse, who remained loyal to the Prophet throughout his life, added that Smith explained “that we had been injured by the mob in Missouri, and to take from the gentiles was no sin,” merely retribution.[xlii]

Danites who maintained lifelong loyalty to the LDS Church later wrote of what they did to defenseless “gentiles” during this “Mormon War” in Missouri. For example, twenty-year-old Benjamin F. Johnson participated in a raid that Danite captain Cornelius P. Lott led against an isolated settlement:

My sympathies were drawn toward the women and children, but I would in no degree let them deter me from duty. So while others were pillaging for something to carry away, I was doing my best to protect, as far as possible, the lives and comfort of the [non-Mormon] families who were dependent on getting away on horseback. . . . While others were doing the burning and plunder, my mission was of mercy so far as duty would permit. But of course I made enemies at home [among fellow Mormons], and became more known by those who were our avowed enemies. Before noon we had set all [houses and barns] on fire and left upon a circuitous route towards home.


The LDS publishing house of the Central States Mission printed that uncomfortable acknowledgement of Mormon depredations.[xliii]

On the other hand, Oliver B. Huntington offered no apology. This lifelong Mormon wrote decades later that he and other Danites had “the privilege of retaking as much as they took from us.” However, contrary to Huntington’s rationalization of justified retribution, Danites sometimes plundered the property of gentiles who had previously been friendly to their Mormon neighbors. The Danites involved did not know these friendly non-Mormons.[xliv]

Moreover, in the skirmishes that both sides called “battles,” Mormons used deadly force without reluctance. Benjamin F. Johnson wrote that Danite leader (and future apostle) Lyman Wight told his men to pray concerning their Missouri enemies: “that God would damn them, and ‘give us power to kill them.’”[xlv] According to lifelong Mormon and Danite, Nathan Tanner, apostle David W. Patten (a Danite captain with the code name “Fear Not”) told his men: “Go ahead, boys; rake them down.” This was on 25 October 1838, at the beginning of the Battle of Crooked River.[xlvi]

The highest-ranking Mormon charged with murder for obeying this order was apostle Parley P. Pratt, who allegedly took the careful aim of a sniper in killing one Missourian and then severely wounding militiaman Samuel Tarwater. This was after apostle Patten had received a fatal stomach wound.[xlvii] In their fury at the sight of their fallen leader, some of the Danites mutilated the unconscious Tarwater “with their swords, striking him lengthwise in the mouth, cutting off his under teeth, and breaking his lower jaw; cutting off his cheeks . . . and leaving him [for] dead.” Tarwater survived Crooked River to press charges against Pratt for attempted murder.[xlviii]

Nevertheless, Mormon marauding against non-Mormon Missourians in 1838 was mild by comparison to the brutality of the anti-Mormon militias. Three days after Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued a military order that the Mormons “must be exterminated, or driven from the State,” a Missouri militia unit attacked the LDS settlement at Haun’s Mill on 30 October 1838. They shot at and wounded thirteen fleeing women and children, then methodically killed eighteen males, including the point-blank execution of two boys (aged nine and ten). Militiamen also used a “corncutter” to mutilate the still-living Thomas McBride. When survivors found the elderly man, his corpse was “literally mangled from head to foot.”[xlix]

However, a generally unacknowledged dimension of the extermination order and the Haun’s Mill massacre is that they both resulted from Mormon actions at the Battle of Crooked River. Knowingly or not, Mormons had attacked state troops, and this had a cascade effect. Local non-Mormonresidents feared annihilation: “We know not the hour or minute we will be laid in ashes,” a local minister and county clerk wrote the day after this battle. “For God’s sake give us assistance as quick as possible.” Correspondingly, the attack on state troops weakened the position of pro-Mormon Missourians in the state’s militias and government offices. Finally, upon receiving news of the injuries and death of state troops at Crooked River, Governor Boggs immediately drafted his extermination order of 27 October 1838 on the grounds that the Mormons “have made war upon the people of this state.”[l]Worse, the killing of one Missourian and mutilation of another while he was defenseless at Crooked River prompted the mad-dog revenge by Missourians in the slaughter at Haun’s Mill.

The day after that massacre, Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders surrendered to the Missouri militia, which had encircled Far West. After Sampson Avard—under arrest and vulnerable to the same criminal charges filed against Joseph Smith—testified against the Prophet (his Danite “Secretary of War”) in open court, the Prophet publicly repudiated the Danite general and his oath-bound organization. Charged with the capital crime of treason, the Prophet and several colleagues remained in jail for six months before they escaped to Illinois.[li]

It is anachronistic to apply Smith’s later rejection of Avard to the activities of the Danites months earlier.[lii] Avard was the stalking-horse for the First Presidency from the summer to fall of 1838. The Danite constitution specified: “All officers shall be subject to the commands of the Captain General, given through the Secretary of War.” The Prophet had held the latter position “by revelation” in the Church’s “war department” for three years.[liii] He had been commander-in-chief of the Armies of Israel for four years. The Danites’ military actions of 1838 were carried out under the general oversight and command of Joseph Smith, and their violent acts resulted in multiple disasters: the massacre of a Mormon settlement, the ransacking of LDS headquarters, the near-execution of LDS leaders, and the expulsion of the Mormon population from Missouri.

And that perspective is necessary to understand a curious dimension in the next stage of early Mormonism’s culture of violence. During the balance of Smith’s leadership, strident Mormon militarism co-existed with military non-violence among the Mormons.

Through negotiations with Illinois political leaders eager for the support of the bloc-voting Mormons,[liv] LDS headquarters in February 1841 gained a state-chartered private army, the Nauvoo Legion. The LDS president was its governor-appointed commander, holdingthe rank of lieutenant-general. Aside from Smith, only George Washington had ever held that rank. By 1842, this Mormon army of 2,000 was the largest military organization in Illinois. Within two years, the Nauvoo Legion had about 5,000 men under arms, compared with the U.S. army’s total of fewer than 8,500 soldiers. Under Smith’s direction, the Nauvoo Legion drilled and held mock battles.[lv]

Nevertheless, the legion engaged in no violent actions, even when its commander was kidnapped, arrested, and nearly dragged back to Missouri for certain death. Although most members of the Mormon “Relief Expedition” which came to his aid were officers and soldiers in the Nauvoo Legion, they acted as a ragtag collection of friends, rather than as the Nauvoo Legion under orders.[lvi]

Despite being the commander of a Mormon militia which rivaled the size of the U.S. army, Smith did not lead it into violent conflicts; nor did his subordinates. Haunted by the 1838 consequences of violent Mormon militarism, for which he had clearly been responsible, Joseph Smith limited himself to saber-rattling in Illinois.

Although he avoided violent militarism, the LDS Prophet expanded the Mormon culture of violence in personal, civil, and theocratic ways at Nauvoo. He boasted of his past physical assaults, advocated theocratic blood atonement, and committed acts of assault and battery—all in response to what he regarded as justifiable provocation.

It will probably never be known if the Prophet privately authorized his bodyguard and former Danite Orrin Porter Rockwell to kill Missouri’s ex-governor Boggs in May 1842, as an extension of Smith’s “spilling his blood on the ground” doctrine (which he did not announce publicly until 1843).[lvii] Smith held Boggs directly responsible for the expulsion of the Mormons from Jackson County in 1833 and for the disasters of 1838.[lviii] Killing Boggs would have fit within the provisions of the 1833 revelation (D&C 98:31). It would have also been consistent with another Danite’s pledge to Joseph Smith in 1839: “I from this day declare myself the Avenger of the blood of those innocent men, and the innocent cause of Zion.” The Prophet had this pledge copied into his personal letterbook.[lix]

The attempt to kill Boggs occurred one month after Smith received a revelation that has never been officially published. The full content of this document of 7 April 1842 is presently unknown, but it provided the ponderous name for a future theocratic organization that was nicknamed the Council of Fifty: “Verily thus saith the Lord. This is the name by which you shall be called—The Kingdom of God and His Laws, with Keys and power thereof, and judgment in the hands of his servants. Ahman Christ.”[lx] Killing Boggs a month later was likely the first theocratic “judgment in the hands of his servants.” One of the LDS newspapers (edited by the Prophet’s brother William, an apostle) called the attempted assassination a “noble deed.”[lxi]

Completely loyal at this time, the Prophet’s second counselor William Law understandably asked Smith in 1842 about this matter. Law later claimed that Smith replied: “I sent Rockwell to kill Boggs, but he missed him, [and] it was a failure; he wounded him instead of sending him to Hell.”[lxii] On 5 July 1842, witnesses overheard an argument between Rockwell and recently excommunicated First Presidency counselor John C. Bennett about the attempted assassination. Four days later, two men signed affidavits that during this argument, “Rockwell said he had been up into Boggs’s neighborhood, in Missouri; and said he, `If I shot Boggs, they have got to prove it.’”[lxiii] Decades later, Rockwell also allegedly acknowledged: “I shot through the window and thought I had killed him, but I had only wounded him; I was damned sorry that I had not killed the son of a bitch.”[lxiv] Boggs miraculously survived this attempt on his life in May 1842, despite two large balls of buckshot lodged in his brain and two in his neck.[lxv] Already a fugitive from Missouri punishment for capital crimes, Joseph Smith made several denials that he was involved in the attempt to kill Boggs.[lxvi]

[i] Joseph Smith diary, 24 September 1835, in Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 35; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 41–42; Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, 64. There are slight variations in these transcriptions.

[ii] History of the Church, 2: 282. Deseret News 1993–1994 Church Almanac (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1992), 396, shows 8,835 total members in 1835, with 7,500 located in the two stakes of the Church (one in Ohio and one in Missouri). More recent almanacs do not separate stake membership from the total LDS membership of 8,835 in 1835.

[iii] F. Mark McKiernan and Roger D. Launius, eds., An Early Latter Day Saint History: The Book of John Whitmer (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1984), 151 (hereafter cited as The Book of John Whitmer); also Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 42n2.

[iv] For example, Letter From the Secretary of War, Transmitting a List of the Names of the Clerks Employed in the War Department, During the Year 1820; and the Compensation Allowed To Each . . . (Washington, D.C.: War Department, 1821), which was a peace-time publication. During the “Cold War” with the Soviet Union after 1945, the U.S. government officially changed these terms to “Secretary of Defense” and “Department of Defense.”

[v] Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), 53.

[vi] “Another Mormon Invasion,” Daily Missouri Republican (St. Louis, MO), 17 May 1836, referring to “letters from Kirtland, Ohio have been received here by the last mail from persons of undoubted veracity . . .”

[vii] “Petition of Joseph Smith Jr. to Ariel Hanson,” 7 November 1836, Lake County Historical Society. The signers (showing those with verified membership in the Mormon paramilitary Danites in 1838) were LDS First Presidency members Joseph Smith (Danite), Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon (Danite), Frederick G. Williams, and John Smith (Danite), Apostles Brigham Young, William Smith, and Parley P. Pratt (Danite), Seventy’s Presidents Joseph Young, Zebedee Coltrin, Lyman R. Sherman, and Leonard Rich. Re-arranged in alphabetical order with corrected spellings of names, the other signers were: Solomon Angell, Loren W. Babbitt, Edson Barney, Royal Barney Jr., Isaac H. Bishop, Roswell Blood, Edmund Bosley, Norman Buell, Jacob Bump, Horace Burgess, Reynolds Cahoon (Danite), William F. Cahoon, James M. Carroll, Jared Carter (Danite), Hiram Clark (Danite), Marcellus F. Cowdery, Warren A. Cowdery, William Cowdery, John Davidson, Lysander M. Davis, Maleum C. Davis, David Dort, Bechias Dustin, Sterry Fisk, Solomon Freeman, George W. Gee (Danite), John P. Greene (Danite), John Gribble, S[elah] J. Gri[ffin], Isaiah Harvey, Nathan Haskins, Jonathan H. Holmes, Vinson Knight (Danite), Lorenzo L. Lewis, Garland W. Meeks, Artemus Millet, Roger Orton, Ebenezer Page (Danite), John D. Parker, Burton H. Phelps, William D. Pratt, David H. Redfield, John Reed, Ezekiel Rider, Ebenezer Robinson (Danite), Peter Shirts, Asael Smith, Don C. Smith, George A. Smith (Danite), Samuel H. Smith (Danite), Harvey Stanley, Christopher Stillwell, Hyrum Stratton, Ezra Strong, Benjamin Sweat, Chauncy G. Webb, Edwin Webb, Joseph Willard, and Willard Woodstock.

[viii] McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 161.

[ix] Painesville Telegraph (Painesville, OH), 9 June 1837; also Grandison Newell v. Joseph Smith Junior, Court of Common Pleas records, Book T, 52–53 (5 June 1837), Geauga County; Edwin Brown Firmage and Richard Collin Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988), 55–56, 384n17; and brief discussions of the case in B.H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: “By the Church,” 1930), 1: 405; in Max H. Parkin, “Mormon Political Involvement in Ohio,” BYU Studies 9 (Summer 1969): 500; and in Bushman “with” Woodworth, Rough Stone Rolling, 337.

[x] Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1844 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 167 (for April 1838 testimony about the investigations “last fall”), 171n18 (for Fanny Alger); Todd Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 37–38 (which gives the incorrect date of “the summer of 1837” for Patten’s inquiry).

[xi] Brigham Young statement to apostles in Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal: 1833–1898 Typescript, 9 vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983–85), 5: 63 (25 June 1857). Young accurately dated this incident as occurring “in the fall of 1837.” See Note 60 for the date.

Young said that he was less severe with other Mormons than the founding prophet was. See Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (London and Liverpool: Latter Day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854–86), 8: 317–18.

[xii] LeBaron, Benjamin Franklin Johnson, 221.

[xiii] History of the Church, 2: 484–93, 508–12, 529; Mary Fielding Smith letters to Mercy R. Fielding Thompson, July–October 1837, in Kenneth W. Godfrey, Audrey M. Godfrey, and Jill Mulvay Derr, eds., Women’s Voices: An Untold History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982), 60–68; Robert Kent Fielding, “The Growth of the Mormon Church In Kirtland, Ohio,” Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University, 1957, 245–64; Parkin, “Study of the Nature and Causes of External and Internal Conflict of the Mormons in Ohio Between 1830 and 1838,” esp. 309–17; Davis Bitton, “The Waning of Mormon Kirtland,” BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 455–64; Marvin S. Hill, “Cultural Crisis in the Mormon Kingdom: A Reconsideration of the Causes of Kirtland Dissent,” Church History 49 (September 1980): 286–97; Milton V. Backman Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 310–41; Karl Ricks Anderson, Joseph Smith’s Kirtland: Eyewitness Accounts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989), 193–223; Church History in the Fulness of Times, 169–80; Kenneth H. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830–1846 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 106–28; Hill, Quest For Refuge, 55–80; Milton V. Backman Jr. and Ronald K. Esplin, “History of the Church: 1831–1844,” and Backman, “Kirtland,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2: 609–10, 797; Allen and Leonard, Story of the Latter-day Saints, 117–25; Origins of Power, 61–62.

[xiv] Hill, Quest for Refuge, 70. In view of that assessment by Marvin S. Hill in 1989, I was mystified by his rejection in Sunstone (November 1997) of my analysis of early Mormonism’s culture of violence as presented in Extensions of Power.

[xv] Francis M. Gibbons, Joseph Smith: Martyr, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1977), 228–29; Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), 65. Hill, Joseph Smith, gave the traditional account (223–24) that Smith was unaware of the Danites and quickly repudiated them, but she concluded (225) that he had at least peripheral involvement with the Danites and gave approval of their early activities.

[xvi] William Swartzell (a Danite) daily journal, 14 July 1838, in his Mormonism Exposed, Being a Journal of a Residence in Missouri From the 28th of May to the 20th of August, 1838 (Pekin, OH: A. Ingram Jr., Printer, 1840), 18.

[xvii] Dean C. Jessee and David J. Whittaker, “The Last Months of Mormonism in Missouri: The Albert Perry Rockwood Journal,” BYU Studies 28 (Winter 1988): 23, as a slightly different version of Albert P. Rockwood to Luther Rockwood, 29 October 1838 (rather than 22 October, as in Jesse and Whittaker), Beinecke Library.

Nevertheless, as I discuss in Origins of Power, 111, until 1842, early Mormon pamphleteering and editorials did not discuss the Daniel prophecies as applying to the LDS Church at present, but instead discussed theocracy as a distant, millennial circumstance. Joseph Smith changed the emphasis both publicly and privately in 1842, thus introducing the Missouri Danite interpretation to the Church at large.

[xviii] John Smith diary, 4 August, 1 September 1838, George A. Smith Family papers, Manuscripts Division, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; John E. Thompson, “A Chronology of Danite Meetings in Adam-ondi-Ahman, Missouri, July to September, 1838,” Restoration: News, Views, and History of the Latter Day Saint Movement 4 (January 1985): 11–14; Stephen C. LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987), 38, 44.

Richard Lloyd Anderson, “Clarifications of Bogg’s [sic] `Order’ and Joseph Smith’s Constitutionalism,” in Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson, eds., Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Missouri (Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1994), 64, claimed that the “only official and contemporary” reference by LDS leaders to the Danites was a statement by George W. Robinson (“a Danite officer and Church recorder”) in Joseph Smith’s “Scriptory Book” (Anderson, 71n19, 80n147).

However, Anderson nowhere acknowledges that John Smith, an assistant counselor in the First Presidency and the prophet’s uncle, made repeated references of a positive or neutral nature to the Danites in his 1838 diary. This diary’s quotes about the Danites and “the Daughters of Zion” appeared on page 44 of LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War, which Anderson’s article was trying to refute. By linking “official” and “contemporary,” Anderson was able to legalistically exclude most of the first-hand Danite evidence he didn’t like. However, since he included the private diary of the LDS president, even Richard L. Anderson’s own rules of evidence should have required him to include the Danite references written in 1838 by the First Presidency’s assistant counselor, who was also serving as a stake president in Missouri.

[xix] Joseph Smith diary, 27 July 1838, in Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 35; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 262; Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, 293. This entry did not make it into the official History of the Church.

[xx] Times and Seasons 4 (15 July 1843): 271.

[xxi] Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” The Return 2 (February 1890): 217. Hartley, My Best For the Kingdom, 47, also observed: “Evidence indicates that President Rigdon knew about them and gave them his blessing.”

[xxii] Anson Call statement to B.H. Roberts (an LDS general authority serving in the First Council of the Seventy) and John M. Whitaker (the Council’s secretary), 30 December 1885, typescript, 1, Whitaker file, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah; Corrill, Brief History, 30; Hartley, My Best For the Kingdom, 46; John E. Thompson, “The Far West Dissenters and the Gamblers at Vicksburg: An Examination of the Documentary Evidence and Historical Context of Sidney Rigdon’s Salt Sermon,” Restoration 5 (January 1986): 21–27.

[xxiii] Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 103–07.

[xxiv] Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” The Return 1 (October 1889): 145–47, 2 (February 1890): 218–19.

[xxv] Avard testimony in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 102. Leland H. Gentry, “The Danite Band of 1838,” BYU Studies 14 (Summer 1974): 424n14, acknowledged Avard’s testimony, but noted that since Rigdon did not sign the ultimatum, “it is possible, therefore, that Avard drew up the document himself.” Likewise, Church History in the Fulness of Times, 191, described this as “an unauthorized document . . . signed by eighty-four Church members, and it pointedly ordered the apostates to leave the county or face serious consequences.” However, “unauthorized” hardly fits a document which was signed by an assistant counselor in the First Presidency and by Second Counselor Hyrum Smith, brother of the Church President. Gentry did not list any of the signers except Avard, but suggested (425): “It is possible that the document was . . . presented for signing at one or more Danite meetings.”

[xxvi] Some have viewed the Danite organization as formed in June 1838 for the sole purpose of opposing a handful of LDS dissenters, whose intimidation was unquestionably its first action. Although its blood-oath enforced internal loyalty, its constitution provided for military titles, structure, and chain-of-command. This indicates that large-scale military activities were paramount for its intended use from the very beginning of the Danite organization, not an afterthought following the expulsion of the dissenters. For the Danite constitution, see Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 102.

[xxvii] Joseph Smith diary, 27 July 1838, in Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 262; with differences in the printed transcriptions of Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 187, and of Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, 293. This entry did not make it into the official History of the Church.

[xxviii] Joseph Smith diary, 4 July 1838, in Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 249 (for quote), 249n1 (noting that “`June’ [was] penciled sideways in the margin opposite these lines,” which were otherwise dated as 4 July 1838; also Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 187; Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, 278; Hartley, My Best For the Kingdom, 46. This entry did not make it into the official History of the Church.

[xxix] McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 165.

[xxx] LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 46. In confirmation of just how mainstream one LDS apologist regards this 1838 death threat against Mormon dissenters, Anderson, “Clarifications of Bogg’s [sic] `Order’ and Joseph Smith’s Constitutionalism,” 63, stated: “Like many responsible contemporaries, Joseph Smith experimented with prior restraint of defamation in times of danger. But the flight of the Cowdery-Whitmer group is an exception in Joseph Smith’s policy of full rights for Mormons and neighbors.”

[xxxi] Leland H. Gentry, “A History of the Latter-day Saints In Northern Missouri From 1836 to 1839,” Ph.D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1965, 171. However, despite the Mormon paranoia of 1838, the following is an overstatement by Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 126: “The banishment of the dissenters initiated a veritable reign of terror against those who might doubt the wisdom of Church policy.”

[xxxii] Orson Hyde letter, 21 October 1844, in LDS newspaper Nauvoo Neighbor (edited by Apostle John Taylor in Nauvoo, IL), 4 December 1844. Although LDS headquarters intended Hyde’s letter to attack the character of Rigdon, who had been recently excommunicated for opposing the 1844 succession claims of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Hyde’s letter also verified the First Presidency’s 1838 authorization of theocratic killings.

[xxxiii] Benjamin Slade testimony (November 1838) about Rigdon’s statement the previous month, in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 143. For Slade as a loyal Mormon in Nauvoo and Utah, see his entry in Susan Ward Easton Black, Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848, 50 vols. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1984–88), 40: 539–40.

[xxxiv] Oration Delivered by Mr. S. Rigdon on the 4th of July 1838 (Far West, MO: Elder’s Journal Office, 1838), 12, as the only quote from this document in Church History in the Fulness of Times, 92. A photographic reprint of the oration is in Peter Crawley, “Two Rare Missouri Documents,” BYU Studies 14 (Summer 1974): 517–27.

[xxxv] Elder’s Journal 1 (August 1838): 54.

[xxxvi] John L. Butler reminiscence, in Journal History, 6 August 1838, page 3; also John L. Butler, history and autobiography, typescript, 16–17, Lee Library.

[xxxvii] History of the Church, 3: 56–58; Church History in the Fulness of Times, 193–210; Reed C. Durham, “The Election Day Battle At Gallatin,” BYU Studies 13 (Autumn 1972): 36–61; LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 58–64.

[xxxviii] Hartley, My Best For the Kingdom, 69, 42. He referred to the post office mentioned by Philip Covington, justice of the peace for Daviess County, affidavit, 22 September 1838, and to the treasurer’s office in William P. Peniston’s affidavit, 21 October 1838, both in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 43–44.

[xxxix] Hartley, My Best For the Kingdom, 42.

[xl] Luman A. Shurtliff manuscript autobiography (1807–51), 120, 122, 125 (for August 1838), LDS Archives, also typescript at Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. A written revelation of 8 July 1838 had appointed John Taylor as an apostle. (Doctrine and Covenants 118: 1, 6)

In Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons . . . (Fayette, MO: Boon’s Lick Democrat, 1841), 98, Sampson Avard, the Danite leader at Far West, testified: “As for Joseph Smith, jr., and his two counsellors, the witness does not know that they ever took the Danite oath.” This indicates that Smith was not initiated at Far West, and instead the prophet undoubtedly received his Danite initiation from Lyman Wight. Wight was the Danite leader at Adam-ondi-Ahman, the second largest organization of Danites. There was a certain symmetry in this, since Smith had ordained Wight as the Church’s first high priest in 1831, and Wight in turn had ordained Smith as a high priest. Three years later, Smith secretly ordained Wight “to the office of Benamey [“Baneemy”] in the presence of an angel.” See History of the Church, 1: 176n; Cannon and Cook, Far West Record, 67; Lyman Wight to Cooper and Chidester, editors of the Strangite newspaper Northern Islander, July 1855, in Wight letterbook, 23, Archives of The Community of Christ (formerly The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), Independence, Missouri.

[xli] I acknowledge the possibility, as Todd Compton has argued, that sentry Shurtliff might have given a temporary military password, military sign, and military countersign (which changed nightly by conventional practice) to Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith on the night Shurtliff’s autobiography described, rather than the permanent codes given to initiated Danites. Compton acknowledges it only as “a good chance that it may have been a Danite sign and password.” He elaborated this in “Joseph Smith and the Danites,” paper delivered at Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City, 6 August 2010, to be published as an appendix in Leland H. Gentry and Todd M. Compton, Fire and Sword: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri, 1836–39 (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, forthcoming).

However, in my view, there is almost no probability that Shurtliff gave non-Danite signals to the two Smiths in August 1838, in view of (1) the manifold evidences of their close involvement with the Danite activities since June 1838, (2) Shurtliff’s expressed eagerness to give Danite signals to other Danites, and (3) the fact that Shurtliff recognized the approaching men as Joseph and Hyrum before he gave the signals.

[xlii] Justus Morse affidavit, 23 March 1887, LDS Archives, with complete transcription in folder 3, box 22, H. Michael Marquardt papers, Marriott Library; History of the Church, 5: 302, 6: 337, for Morse’s continued association with Smith. Closer to the events of 1838, dissident Mormons and former Danite officers Sampson Avard and Reed Peck described Smith’s similar encouragement to plunder Missourians in Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 98, 117.

[xliii] Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life’s Review (Independence, MO: Zion’s Printing & Publishing Co., 1947), 39.

[xliv] Oliver B. Huntington manuscript autobiography, book 1, 37–38 (1838), Lee Library; LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 119, 136.

[xlv] LeBaron, Benjamin Franklin Johnson, 222.

[xlvi] Nathan Tanner reminiscence, in George S. Tanner, John Tanner and His Family (Salt Lake City: John Tanner Family Association/Publishers Press, 1974), 386.

[xlvii] Indictment of Parley P. Pratt for murder of Moses Rowland, filed 2 April 1839, Boone County Circuit Court Records, Case 1379, folder 17, Western Historical Manuscripts Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; John D. Lee autobiography in Mormonism Unveiled: or the Life and Confessions of the Mormon Bishop, John D. Lee (St. Louis: Bryan, Brand & Co., 1877), 73; also Reed Peck’s similar description of acts by the unnamed Parley P. Pratt, a “cold hearted villain (I know him well),” in Reed Peck manuscript, 18 September 1839, pages 99–100, Huntington Library.

[xlviii] James H. Hunt, Mormonism . . . Their Troubles In Missouri and Final Expulsion From the State (St. Louis: Ustick & Davies, 1844), 190–91. Although he did not acknowledge that Tarwater sustained these injuries after he was shot and lying unconscious on the ground, an assistant LDS Church historian gave a more gruesome description of his injuries, including “a terrible gash in the skull, through which his brain was plainly visible.” See Andrew Jenson, “Caldwell County, Missouri,” The Historical Record 8 (January 1888): 702; also Alexander L. Baugh, “The Battle Between Mormon and Missouri Militia at Crooked River,” in Garr and Johnson, Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Missouri, 93 (for discussion of Tarwater).

[xlix] History of the Church, 3: 184–87, 326n, and 175 (for text of the governor’s extermination order; “A Heroine of Haun’s Mill Massacre,” in Heroines of “Mormondom,” the Second Book of the Noble Women’s Lives Series (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1884), 86–96; “Exterminate or Expel Them!” and “Massacre at Haun’s Mill,” in Mulder and Mortensen, Among the Mormons, 102–06; Gentry, “History of the Latter-day Saints In Northern Missouri,” 430–66; “Alma R. Blair,” “The Haun’s Mill Massacre,” BYU Studies 13 (Autumn 1972): 62–67; Clark V. Johnson, “Missouri Persecutions: The Petition of Isaac Leany,” BYU Studies 23 (Winter 1983): 101–03; Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833–1838 Missouri Conflict (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1992), 17–18, 28–31, 89–90, 274–76, 320–21, 408–09, 417–18, 440–41, 451–52, 477–78, 486–88, 490–91, 505–06, 637–39, 720–24; Alma R. Blair, “Haun’s Mill Massacre,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2: 577. Traditional accounts misstate both the age and military experience of victim McBride. Born in 1776, he was too young to be a “veteran of the Revolution” (History of the Church, 3: 220n), which war ended in 1783. The Journal History for 30 October 1838 acknowledged that historical impossibility and suggested that McBride was a veteran of the War of 1812.

[l] LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 138, 144–52. While Anderson, “Clarifications of Bogg’s [sic] `Order’ and Joseph Smith’s Constitutionalism” acknowledges that the Boggs extermination order responded to what Anderson calls “the hot skirmish at Crooked River” (45), he emphasizes the “unfounded rumors” (45), “the upcoming fictitious attack on the county seat” (46), the “false rumors” (47), “this mythical Mormon offensive” (48) described by Missourians, and then dismisses Crooked River as “the attack of 70 Mormons on a state patrol of 50, which was intimidating Mormon settlers instead of acting on defensive orders” (48). Anderson argues at length (27–47) that the governor simply ratified long-standing calls for expulsion by anti-Mormons. Thus (47), Boggs “served special interests in upper Missouri when they demanded extermination orders. This executive was more conduit than commander” in issuing the October 1838 extermination order against the Mormons.

[li] History of the Church, 3: 58–322; Gentry, “History of the Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri,” 527–98; Leonard J. Arrington, “Church Leaders in Liberty Jail,” BYU Studies 12 (Autumn 1972): 20–26; Dean C. Jessee, “`Walls, Grates and Screeking Iron Doors’: The Prison Experience of Mormon Leaders in Missouri, 1838–1839,” in Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, eds., New Views of Mormon History: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Leonard J. Arrington (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), 19–42; LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 46–48, 63–263, 125n35; Hill, Quest for Refuge, 75, 76, 92, 225n65.

[lii] Which is exactly what Richard L. Anderson did in his “Clarifications of Bogg’s [sic] `Order’ and Joseph Smith’s Constitutionalism,” 68.

[liii] Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c In Relation to the Disturbances With the Mormons, 102; Jessee, Papers of Joseph Smith, 2: 42n2.

[liv] Robert Bruce Flanders, Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1965), 19; Kenneth Gordon Crider, “Rhetorical Aspects of the Controversies Over Mormonism in Illinois, 1839–1847,” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1956, 270–71; Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Causes of the Mormon Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839–1846,” Ph.D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1967, 43–47; Andrew F. Smith, Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 58–61.

[lv] History of the Church, 5: 3–4, 56, 369, 383–84, 6: 34; Hamilton Gardner, “The Nauvoo Legion, 1840–1845: A Unique Military Organization,” in Roger D. Launius and John E. Hallwas, eds., Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited: Nauvoo in Mormon History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996), 53 (for lieutenant-general rank), 57 (for “an estimated five thousand members”); with lower estimates in John Sweeney Jr., “A History of the Nauvoo Legion In Illinois,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1974, 70, 73; compared with Thomas H.S. Hamersly, Regular Army Register of the United States, 1779–1879 (Washington: By the author, 1880), 84–89.

[lvi] History of the Church, 5: 482.

[lvii] See discussion in narrative-text for Note 124.

[lviii] History of the Church, 1: 434, 3: 81, 204, 328, 5: 15; “Mormons Held Boggs Responsible For Their Hardships,” in L. Dean Marriott, “Lilburn W. Boggs: Interaction With Mormons Following Their Expulsion From Missouri,” Ed.D. dissertation, Brigham Young University, 1979, 27-30.

[lix] Alanson Ripley to “Dear brethren in Christ Jesus,” with Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRae, and Lyman Wight identified by initials at the end of letter, 10 April 1839, Joseph Smith letterbook 2: 17, Smith papers, original in LDS Archives, with microfilm copies at Community of Christ Archives, at Lee Library, and at Marriott Library; quoted in Hill, Quest for Refuge, 100.

[lx] William Clayton diary, 1 January 1845, in George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books/Smith Research Associates, 1991), 153, gives the earliest available statement of the revelation’s text but does not date it. The earliest known statement that this revelation occurred on 7 April 1842 is Council of Fifty minutes, 10 April 1880, typed copy, Lee Library, also in Joseph F. Smith diary, 10 April 1880, LDS Archives (with complete transcription in Quinn’s research files, Beinecke Library), and in Andrew F. Ehat, “`It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth’: Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God,” BYU Studies 20 (Spring 1980): 254n3. Restatements and slight variations of this council’s long name (given by the 1842 revelation) appear in Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal: 1833–1898 Typescript, 3 (29 May 1847): 188; John D. Lee diary, 3 March 1849, in Robert Glass Cleland and Juanita Brooks, eds., A Mormon Chronicle: The Diaries of John D. Lee, 1848–1876, 2 vols. (San Marino, CA: The Henry E. Huntington Library, 1955), 1: 98; Joseph F. Smith diary, 16 March 1880; Franklin D. Richards diary, 16 March 1880, LDS Archives, Council of Fifty minutes, 10 April 1880, LDS Archives, Joseph F. Smith memorandum, 31 December 1880, LDS Archives (with complete transcriptions of the above in Quinn’s research files, Beinecke Library); Abraham H. Cannon diary, 9 October 1884, Lee Library, Marriott Library, and Utah State Historical Society; John Taylor revelation of 27 June 1882, in Annie Taylor Hyde notebook, 67, LDS Archives, with complete transcription in Quinn’s research files, Beinecke Library; and in Fred C. Collier, Unpublished Revelations of the Prophets and Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Collier’s Publishing Co., 1981), 134, verse 29.

[lxi] The Wasp (Nauvoo, IL), 28 May 1842.

[lxii] William Law statement, 31 July 1887, in Lyndon W. Cook, ed., William Law: Biographical Essay, Nauvoo Diary, Correspondence (Orem, UT: Grandin Book Co., 1994), 116–17.

[lxiii] Jonas Hobart affidavit on 9 July 1842 (for quote); Samuel Marshall affidavit on 9 July 1842 (for third person paraphrase of quote), both in John C. Bennett, The History of the Saints . . . (Boston: Leland and Whiting, 1842), 285. Lacking the effusiveness and sensationalism that Bennett and his allies typically used, these affidavits quoted/paraphrased Rockwell’s guarded and not-quite-incriminating statement. Under the circumstances, the affidavits sound like unexaggerated statements of what Hobart and Marshall actually heard him say.

[lxiv] Quoted in Harold Schindler, Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1966), 80.

[lxv] William M. Boggs, “A Short Biographical Sketch of Lilburn W. Boggs, By His Son,” Missouri Historical Review 4 (January 1910): 107; also Nicholas Van Alfen, Orrin Porter Rockwell: The Frontier Mormon Marshal (Logan, UT: LDS Institute of Religion, 1964), 20–32; Monte B. McLaws, “The Attempted Assassination of Missouri’s Ex-Governor, Lilburn W. Boggs,” Missouri Historical Review 60 (October 1965): 50–62; Flanders, Nauvoo, 104–05; Schindler, Orrin Porter Rockwell, 74–109; Richard Lloyd Dewey, Porter Rockwell: The Definitive Biography (New York: Paramount Books, 1986), 49–77.

[lxvi] Joseph Smith letter to Mr. Bartlett, 22 May 1842, in Quincy Whig (Quincy, IL), 4 June 1842; Joseph Smith letter to the editor, 27 May 1842, in Quincy Herald (Quincy, IL), 2 June 1842; History of the Church, 5: 9, 15, 6: 151.