Personal Life

July 11, 1842

Joseph Smith bought a horse, which he named Jo Duncan after Joseph Duncan, Whig candidate for Illinois governor, who had attacked Mormon charters. Joseph Smith supported Duncan's opponent, Democrat Thomas Ford.

July 15, 1842

After finding a despairing letter by Orson Pratt and fearing that he intended to take his own life, Joseph organized a search for him. Elder Pratt returned that evening.

August 11, 1842

Joseph Smith held a private council after dark with his wife Emma, his brother Hyrum, and a few others at the lower end of an island in the river. His legal position was discussed and lawyers were retained to represent him in Iowa and Illinois.


Winter Quarters

Read peer-reviewed articles about Joseph Smith and other Church history topics from BYU Studies. Visit