The Canes of the Martyrdom


Shortly after the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1844, unusual mementos in his memory—wooden canes—were fashioned from the oak planks of the rough-hewn coffin in which the body was returned to Nauvoo. The history of these mementos—the Canes of the Martyrdom— is elusive, but some conclusions may be drawn from what little solid information can be found.

We do know that Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, Dimick Huntington, Wilford Woodruff, and probably Brigham Young had such canes. Today, the only authenticated Martyrdom cane carved from the wood of the oak coffins at Carthage known to exist is that of Dimick Huntington. Perhaps those belonging to Heber C. Kimball and Perrigrine Sessions are also still in existence.


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