Joseph Smith Jr.

On This Day

May–July 1818

Palmyra, New York—
Joseph Smith Sr. v. Hurlbut: Joseph Smith Sr. created a list of damages sustained by "fraud or ducet" when he and Alvin Smith had purchased two deficient horses from Jeremiah Hurlbut.

Spring 1829

Harmony, Pennsylvania—
Joseph Smith received Doctrine and Covenants 10, a revelation about the designs of wicked men who had made alterations to the 116 lost manuscript pages. Parts of this revelation may have been received as early as summer 1828.

Summer 1829

Palmyra, New York—
Joseph Smith received Doctrine and Covenants 19, a revelation to Martin Harris concerning repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Martin was commanded to pay the debt that he had contracted with the printer for the publication of the Book of Mormon.

May or June 1829

Palmyra, New York—
Martin Harris's wife, Lucy, filed a complaint against Joseph Smith, attempting to prove that he never had gold plates.

June 1830

Colesville, New York—
Joseph Smith received by revelation what is now the first chapter of the book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.

In 1830

Hiram, Ohio—
Joseph Smith received Doctrine and Covenants 74, a revelation answering some of his questions about Paul's teachings in 1 Corinthians 7:14.

June 1831

Thompson, Ohio—
Copley v. Smith: Church members were forced to leave Leman Copley's farm and "pay sixty dollars damage for fitting up his houses and planting his ground."

June 25, 1835

Kirtland, Ohio—
Joseph Smith attended a meeting to raise money for the Kirtland Temple and pledged $500.

June 25, 1839

Kirtland, Ohio—
Coe v. Smith: The case was heard in the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, for goods sold and delivered in the amount of $900. A pre-judgment attachment against Joseph Smith's property was attempted, but no service of process was served on Joseph Smith, so the case was stricken from the calendar. Coe was ordered to pay costs.

June 1843

Gallatin, Missouri—
State of Missouri v. Smith (Daviess Co. Circuit Court): A Daviess County grand jury indicted Joseph Smith for alleged treason arising out of 1838 activities.

June 25, 1844

Carthage, Illinois—
Joseph Smith dictated a letter to his wife Emma from Carthage Jail, informing her of the new treason charge and of his interactions with Governor Ford.
  • Personal Writings of Joseph Smith,  Joseph Smith, 620-23
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June 25, 1844

Carthage, Illinois—
State v. Joseph and Hyrum Smith: In the courtroom, Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were served writs charging them with treason, a nonbailable offense, for placing Nauvoo under martial law on June 18, 1844. Despite there having been no hearing on that new charge, the defendants were taken to the Carthage Jail that evening under protective custody. The two treason complaints against Joseph Smith and Hyrum were apparently signed by Augustine Spencer and Henry Norton, respectively. John Taylor called them "two worthless fellows not worth 5 cents between them." Governor Ford speculated that the charges of treason were based on declaring martial law in Nauvoo and resisting the "posse comitatus."

June 25, 1844

Carthage, Illinois—
After Joseph and Hyrum Smith surrendered to the authorities in the morning, Illinois Governor Thomas Ford paraded the brothers through the ranks of the troops assembled by his orders from the surrounding counties. The Smiths and the other defendants were arraigned before Justice of the Peace ­Robert F. Smith, also Captain of the Carthage Greys. The case was postponed until October because Francis Higbee, a key witness, failed to appear. All the defendants posted bail, even in excessive amounts. Joseph and Hyrum were served writs charging them with treason, a nonbailable offense. Despite having no hearing on that new charge, the defendants were taken to Carthage Jail that evening under protective custody.

June 1845

Carthage, Illinois—
State of Illinois v. Levi Williams, Jacob C. Davis, Thomas C. Sharp, Mark Aldrich and Thomas Grover. All defendants were acquitted for the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
  • LDS Church Archives, Joseph Smith Legal Papers series 
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Events

November 2, 1845

Nauvoo, Illinois—
In speaking of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, Robert D. Foster told Abraham Hodge: "I haven't seen one moment's peace since that time. . . . The thought of meeting Joseph and Hyrum Smith at the bar of God is more awful to me than anything else."  

January 1846

Hancock County, Illinois—
Almon W. Babbitt, Guardian for heirs of Edward Lawrence v. Smith and Coolidge: Babbitt filed a new action, adding Sarah and Maria Lawrence as co-petitioners. Babbitt filed only against the estates of Joseph Smith and Hyrum.  

May 19, 1846

Hancock County, Illinois—
Almon W. Babbitt, Guardian for heirs of Edward Lawrence v. Smith and Coolidge: The case was tried. Mary Fielding Smith and Joseph Coolidge failed to appear. After hearing evidence of damages, judgment was rendered against each estate for $4,275.88 plus court costs. It does not appear that Babbit made any effort to execute on the judgments.

August 8, 1848

Carthage, Illinois—
John M. Ferris was appointed administrator of Joseph Smith's estate, following the appointments of Emma Smith (in July 1844) and of Joseph Coolidge (on September 19, 1844).

August 19 and December 4, 1850

Springfield, Illinois—
United States v. Smith: The United States brought actions against the estate of Joseph Smith and 104 defendants for nonpayment of the 1840 debt to Robert E. Lee for the purchase of the steamboat Nauvoo. No fraud was found, but foreclosures were permitted by Judge Thomas Drummond against nearly 4,000 acres originally owned by Joseph Smith. Four public sales were conducted locally through July 17, 1852.

Pages

Winter Quarters

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