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Joseph Smith the Martyr/Murderer


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#1 WalkerW

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:36 PM

This is found at FAIR:

"The critics' third attack is to insist that since Joseph fired his gun six times (only three shots discharged) and he hit two of the mobbers, he is a murderer.

Joseph's actions were clearly self-defense and defense of others under the common law. But, this point is moot since the mobbers who were hit were not killed (as was first reported in some Church publications) but only wounded. They were alive and well at the trial held for mob leaders, and were identified by witnesses. Their good health allowed them to receive gifts because of their role in the assault on Joseph, Hyrum, and the other prisoners."

Where is this information found? I'm trying to track down the reference.
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#2 LeSellers

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:39 PM

They were alive and well at the trial held for mob leaders, and were identified by witnesses.

Where is this information found? I'm trying to track down the reference.

Sounds like Carthage Conspiracy.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers, 20 December 2009 - 09:37 PM.

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#3 WalkerW

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 08:49 PM

Do you know where they get the info? The book isn't available in its fullness online.
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#4 Mordecai

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 09:14 PM

I've talked to anti-Mormons who talk like the mobsters were heroes.
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#5 LeSellers

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 09:37 PM

Do you know where they get the info? The book isn't available in its fullness online.

William Gallaher, William Voras, and John Wills were the three men whom Joseph Smith wounded. All three were indicted for the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, but none was arrested, none showed up at the trial, and all were given a new suit of clothing.

The sources now-Elder Oaks and Brother Hill used were the court records of the trial, inter alia.

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#6 Uncle Dale

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 10:00 PM

"The critics' third attack is to insist that since Joseph fired his gun six times
(only three shots discharged) and he hit two of the mobbers, he is a murderer.
...


Not sure I ever heard that any of the "mob" were murdered at Carthage. There are some
stories of the ultimate fates of some of those people -- but I do not think any died
immediately, of wounds inflicted by Joseph that day.

His actions stand in stark contrast with the death of Jesus, and I'm perturbed
when I see the two events favorably compared. But then again, Jesus died under
different circumstances, for a different purpose, and was not in a position to
try and defend his brother and two of his apostles from an armed "mob."

If charges of "murder" are to be leveled at Smith, the strongest case might be
made for his role in the 1830s "Mormon War" in Missouri, in which LDS settlers
died, following Smith's directive leadership. Perhaps the strongest case for
this sort of accusation would have been during the "Zion's Camp" episode of
of 1834, when Smith himself led an armed paramilitary group across state lines,
in preparation for armed conflict with the Missourians. As things turned out,
the Mormon deaths were directly caused by disease, but came about due to
Smith's leadership, and on "his watch." But even there, no court would have
convicted him of intentional "murder." Negligent homicide, perhaps; but not
murder in any legal sense of the term.

At Kirtland (with Grandison Newell) and later at Nauvoo (with L. W. Boggs)
Smith was charged as an accessory in attempted murders -- but neither set
of charges resulted in a conviction. Beyond that, all there is to portray
him as a murderer are unproven accusations and rumors at Nauvoo.

Joseph Smith a murderer? God alone knows -- but from Oliver Harper (1824)
down to the shoot-out at Carthage Jail (1844), no proof of any such thing
has ever been demonstrated in the case of Joseph Smith, Jr. And so, he
must be "presumed innocent."

UD
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#7 Zakuska

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 10:51 PM

"Carthage Conspiracy: The trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith, by Dallin H. Oaks and Marvin S. Hill" is indespensable when it comes to his subject.

It was reported in the newspapers that the men received new suits for their role in the Assassination by the good towns folk of Green Plains.

From page 52 of Carthage Conspiracy:

Wills, Voras, and Gallaher were probably named in the indictment because their wounds, which testimony showed were received at the jail, were irrefutable evidence that they had participated in the mob. They undoubtedly recognized their vulnerability and fled the county. A contemporary witness reported these three as saying that they were the first men at the jail, that one of them shot through the door killing Hyrum, that Joseph wounded all three with his pistol, and that Gallaher shot Joseph as he ran to the window.[Hay, "The Mormon Prophet's Tragedy," 675] According to Hay, Wills, whom the Mormon prophet had shot in the arm, was an Irishman who had joined the mob from “his congenital love of a brawl.”[Statement of Jeremiah Willey, August 13, 1844, Brigham Young correspondence, Church Archives.]
Gallaher was a young man from Mississippi who was shot in the face.[Hay, "The Mormon Prophet's Tragedy," 669, 675. Another source says Wills was a former Mormon elder who had left the Church. Davis, An Authentic Account, 24.] Hay described Voras (Voorhees) as a “half-grown hobbledehoy from Bear Creek” whom Joseph shot in the shoulder. The citizens of Green Plains were said to have given Gallaher and Voras new suits of clothes for their parts in the killing.[Statement of Jeremiah Willey, August 13, 1844]

Edited by Zakuska, 20 December 2009 - 11:03 PM.

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#8 Wiki Wonka

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:29 AM

"Carthage Conspiracy: The trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith, by Dallin H. Oaks and Marvin S. Hill" is indespensable when it comes to his subject.

It was reported in the newspapers that the men received new suits for their role in the Assassination by the good towns folk of Green Plains.

From page 52 of Carthage Conspiracy:

Wills, Voras, and Gallaher were probably named in the indictment because their wounds, which testimony showed were received at the jail, were irrefutable evidence that they had participated in the mob. They undoubtedly recognized their vulnerability and fled the county. A contemporary witness reported these three as saying that they were the first men at the jail, that one of them shot through the door killing Hyrum, that Joseph wounded all three with his pistol, and that Gallaher shot Joseph as he ran to the window.[Hay, "The Mormon Prophet's Tragedy," 675] According to Hay, Wills, whom the Mormon prophet had shot in the arm, was an Irishman who had joined the mob from “his congenital love of a brawl.”[Statement of Jeremiah Willey, August 13, 1844, Brigham Young correspondence, Church Archives.]
Gallaher was a young man from Mississippi who was shot in the face.[Hay, "The Mormon Prophet's Tragedy," 669, 675. Another source says Wills was a former Mormon elder who had left the Church. Davis, An Authentic Account, 24.] Hay described Voras (Voorhees) as a “half-grown hobbledehoy from Bear Creek” whom Joseph shot in the shoulder. The citizens of Green Plains were said to have given Gallaher and Voras new suits of clothes for their parts in the killing.[Statement of Jeremiah Willey, August 13, 1844]


Zak,

Thanks for the reference. I've added this to the wiki article. Joseph Smith/Martyrdom/Joseph fired a gun

WW

Edited by Wiki Wonka, 21 December 2009 - 12:31 AM.

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#9 WalkerW

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:52 AM

Thanks everyone
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#10 Nevo

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 01:06 AM

Joseph Smith a murderer? God alone knows -- but from Oliver Harper (1824) down to the shoot-out at Carthage Jail (1844), no proof of any such thing has ever been demonstrated in the case of Joseph Smith, Jr. And so, he must be "presumed innocent."


I'm glad to hear that you now presume Joseph Smith's innocence. Just a few months ago you were darkly insinuating that he was guilty of murder:

Black Pete was an embarrassment to Joseph Smith -- but not just because he hoped to marry a
white woman. He was acting in enthusiastic ways, outside of the "restored" hierarchy. Smith put
a stop to most of the Pentecostalism of Rigdon's church; and when that was gotten rid of, the
troublesome Pete was likewise disposed of.

If by dropping him into the waters of a river, I'd suppose that very few people knew about it.
Later, when Smith was brought to trial for the attempted murder of Grandison Newell, it seems
that only a small handful of Saints were aware of the facts in the case.

Dark secrecy come in handy, when you're trying to establish authoritarian control over people.


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#11 Maya

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 02:09 AM

Wildest story I ever read about the martyr death was something alike: "The Smiths had guns and shot from EVERY window and door at the innocent people."
And some people buy this just like that... :P Not even check the picture of the prison... there is not many windows upstairs and as known the room had one door and one window.... and no one shot through a window from inside out... outside in they did shoot, but they were not Smiths.
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#12 Zakuska

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:27 AM

Heres is an online link to Carthage Conspiracy page 52 & 53:

http://tinyurl.com/yzz8b7j

Pages 59-63 have the footnotes.

The above quote I provided has the footnotes included in the text .

Its also mentioned in this Fair Arcticle:
http://www.fairlds.o...01/m20117b.html

Signaturebooks ads this detail:

Ford then opened lengthy negotiations to bring the men back for trial. He promised that they could appear before a non-Mormon judge for their preliminary hearing and that they would be guaranteed bail. As a result Sharp and Williams surrendered and were brought before a grand jury in October. At these proceedings they were indicted for the murder of Joseph Smith, as were John Wills, William Voras, William Grover, Jacob C. Davis (a state senator), Mark Aldrich, and two men named Allen and Gallaher, who were never apprehended nor brought to trial.141


And this...

Young's resolve to avoid trouble with the anti-Mormons was tested in September. On the 9th, while the older citizens were holding a meeting in the school house at Green Plains, shots were fired. Sharp admitted later that no one knew who was responsible, but leaders at Green Plains, with Levi Williams in command, decided to retaliate against the Mormons and burned several houses at Morley's settlement. Sharp said that only two or three houses were burned,162 but the Nauvoo Neighbor reported first that eight and then forty-four houses and an out house were destroyed.163


And this...

Thomas Sharp, who had participated in the assassination, was temporarily placed on the defensive by public reaction. He admitted that the killings brought on "us the severest censure of nearly the whole newspaper press." Sharp maintained that the lives of the anti-Mormons had been endangered and that they owed allegiance to the law only insofar as it protected them. He said they regretted taking the law into their own hands, but "sooner or later it would have to be done." The Warsaw editor admitted that troops from his town and Green Plains had participated in the murders, feeling that the governor had "trifled" with them in disbanding the militia. He said they had feared that the Nauvoo Legion would attempt to rescue the Smiths that night. The old citizens had to act "or surrender all their dearest rights and leave the county."125 Levi Williams, one of the more militant anti-Mormons, confessed that the real motive was that the Saints "ruled the county, elected who they pleased, and the old citizens had no chance; that it was the only way they could get rid of them."126


Green Plains (and Warsaw) were the Anti-Mormon Head quaters during the Nauvoo era. The only way for the citizens to get their way politically was to take the Law into their own hands and through Mob rule "exterminate" the Mormons.

http://www.signature...est/refuge8.htm

Edited by Zakuska, 21 December 2009 - 10:48 AM.

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#13 Pa Pa

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:44 AM

This is found at FAIR:

"The critics' third attack is to insist that since Joseph fired his gun six times (only three shots discharged) and he hit two of the mobbers, he is a murderer.

What I find vulgar about this line of thinking is that a solider who kills in the heat of battle is no longer a hero, but a murderer. I guess Arlington is filled with murderers.
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#14 Uncle Dale

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:53 AM

I'm glad to hear that you now presume Joseph Smith's innocence.
Just a few months ago you were darkly insinuating that he was guilty of murder:


Presumption of innocence is a legal term, and has little or nothing to do
with our spiritual discernment, which is a gift of the Spirit.

Did Smith push Black Pete into the river?
I doubt it.

Did Smith know that Black Pete was pushed into the river?
God alone knows.

Was Orson Hyde telling the truth, when he testified under oath that
Smith ordered the murder of Grandison Newell of Mentor, Ohio in 1837?

Yes.....

UD
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#15 Walden

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:07 AM

What I find vulgar about this line of thinking is that a solider who kills in the heat of battle is no longer a hero, but a murderer. I guess Arlington is filled with murderers.



I agree, somewhat, with the above statement, though I think that those outside the church have a larger problem with Joseph Smith being portrayed as a martyr rather than a hero. I was raised in the church, went to 4 years of seminary and read a number of church history books that never once mentioned that Smith fired a gun at Carthage or was even in possession of one. I didn't find this out until after I left the church, like many things after the internet age (not that I believe the internet, but the church has come out and clarified a number of historical facts that they never taught before the internet age, due to many facts being disseminated across the internet).

Anyway, the portrayal by the LDS church of Smith as an innocent martyr while at Carthage is what I think gets under some people's skin. He wasn't exactly a lamb being sent to slaughter, as the church often portrayed in the past. The fact is, had he had the ammunition and firepower to shoot his way out of there, he most lilely would have, considering his actions with a single, misfiring pistol. This does not align so neatly with the martyr ideal that the church promotes.
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#16 blueadept

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

As a critic, I've always had an issue of considering JS as a martyr for his usage of the gun but I've reconsidered considering him a martyr for jumping out the window which may be strange to understand.

No one else in the cell was killed once Joseph jumped from the window and drew the fire of the mob that killed him. Joseph doing this is the reason I would consider him a martyr since this act saved the rest of his friends.
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#17 blueadept

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:16 AM

I agree, somewhat, with the above statement, though I think that those outside the church have a larger problem with Joseph Smith being portrayed as a martyr rather than a hero. I was raised in the church, went to 4 years of seminary and read a number of church history books that never once mentioned that Smith fired a gun at Carthage or was even in possession of one. I didn't find this out until after I left the church, like many things after the internet age (not that I believe the internet, but the church has come out and clarified a number of historical facts that they never taught before the internet age, due to many facts being disseminated across the internet).

Anyway, the portrayal by the LDS church of Smith as an innocent martyr while at Carthage is what I think gets under some people's skin. He wasn't exactly a lamb being sent to slaughter, as the church often portrayed in the past. The fact is, had he had the ammunition and firepower to shoot his way out of there, he most lilely would have, considering his actions with a single, misfiring pistol. This does not align so neatly with the martyr ideal that the church promotes.

Firepower? .......that's funny!
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#18 Uncle Dale

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:28 AM

...He wasn't exactly a lamb being sent to slaughter, as the church often portrayed in the past.
...


This was precisely the same point I made before a conclave of Reorganized LDS leaders, scholars
and students, at Lamoni, Iowa, a few years back.

The instructor of a theological class (a fellow very near the apostolic level) was going on and
on, about how much Joseph Smith was like Jesus Christ -- they both knowingly and willingly having
allowed their blood to be shed, without resistance, for the salvation of sinful humankind.

At that point, I asked why Smith had called out the Nauvoo Legion, to potentially give battle
to the constituted militia of the State of Illinois -- an act of treasonable desperation? The
instructor passed over this question, with some remark about even the Apostle Peter having
carried a sword.

I then pointed out that Jesus had told Peter to put away that sword, and had submitted to
execution/assassination by crucifixion, without counseling or offering resistance. I asked how
Jesus' actions could possibly be compared with those of Joseph Smith, who hoped for the
appearance of the Nauvoo Legion, to carry out an escape from Carthage Jail, etc.

Again the RLDS official passed over my question, saying that, regardless of what the Legion
may or may not have been ordered to do, that Joseph Smith himself was as passive as Christ
upon the cross -- asking his followers to forgive the wicked, blaspheming Gentiles who
were about to kill him -- That, like Jesus, the last words of Joseph Smith invoked God, etc.

At that point I told the instructor that he had left out the part about Smith's gun.

He fell silent -- the class fell silent. And then the guy told us we'd be breaking early
for lunch. His only answer, regarding the gun, was a half-whispered remark, that it was not
part of the material he had prepared to present to the class.

This was no ordinary Sunday morning study class in a remote chapel -- it was an official
instructional session, planned and orchestrated by the RLDS First Presidency, to inform
its mid-level leaders on Church theology, policy, history, etc. It was conducted within
a three-minute walk of a library full of books and articles providing a detailed history
of events in and around Nauvoo in the summer of 1844.

What I witnessed was a planned white-wash, pure and simple. It was designed to make Smith
look as much like Jesus as possible, by twisting and falsifying known history. I can only
wonder that, out of many educated attendees listening to that crap, I was the only one
who felt it a necessity to be honest about the gun.

After all, the gospels are honest about Peter's sword.

UD
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#19 jozov

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:47 AM

I don't believe JS was a murderer, but I don't believe he was a martyr either even though he was murdered in cold blood.

I don't understand why it was so salacious that JS had a gun that he fired upon the mob. If he did kill some of them, he was justified. I don't know anyone who wouldn't have fought to save their life and the life of their friends. There is nothing murderous about self defense. JS and his friends got a raw deal. He should have been protected and allowed a fair trial by a jury of his peers instead of being shot up.

I don't believe JS "got what he deserved".

But, I don't believe JS was martyred for his belief in Jesus Christ and over the Book of Mormon. Joseph had made a lot of enemies and people were upset at him over a myriad of reasons none of which had to do with his testimony of Christ.

He was in Carthage jail not for his witness of the BOM, but for ordering the destruction of a printing press which was blowing the lid off his plural marriages which he publicly denied. Even if the Nauvoo Expositor embellished the truth, that does not give anyone the right to destroy a printing press. People are slandered in the media all the time.

Again, this does not justify his murder. I am not condoning his assasination, but he did not go like a lamb to the slaughter over his testimony of the restoration IMHO.

Edited by jozov, 21 December 2009 - 11:49 AM.

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#20 Zakuska

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:13 PM

...He wasn't exactly a lamb being sent to slaughter, as the church often portrayed in the past.

It's been my experience that people who make remarks such as these are obvious city dewlling cement lovers who have never been on a farm to see how much animals, squeel and try to bight when being slaughtered.

People are slandered in the media all the time.

Yes they are. and As Joseph Smith and Governor Ford both agreed that it was a Civil matter and that if the courts found it a violation of the law that Joseph Smith himself would pay the damages, it wasn't any excuse for a mob to have murdered him.

You do remember how many other printing presses where destroyed around that time including their pupritors killed or brutilized by the mobs?

Edited by Zakuska, 21 December 2009 - 12:18 PM.

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