A Little Known Account of the Murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith


Jan Shipps, a Methodist historian of Mormonism, transcribes a letter written by non-Mormon H. H. Bliss of La Harpe, Illinois, in June 1844 to show an outside perspective of the murders of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum at Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois. Bliss wrote the letter to reassure his family in the East that the situation in Illinois was not as dangerous as the newspapers claimed. The letter details the friction Bliss saw and heard about in Nauvoo, including conflicts between two parties of Mormons (those who followed Joseph Smith and those who thought him a fallen prophet), stresses during the events at court, and tensions that led non-Mormons to storm the jail and murder Joseph and Hyrum.


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