Chapter 15 – The Martyrdom

In May, Joseph Smith called 500 electioneering missionaries to promote his candidacy for President of the United States and to serve in normal missionary activities in key population centers in the country.

Early in June, David Kilbourne wrote to a friend, Reverend Dent in England, explaining the events of the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor press.  Kilbourne explained how he rescued William Law and others of the Nauvoo Expositor paper and delivered them out of Nauvoo.

After Joseph and Hyrum came voluntarily to Carthage they were placed in the Carthage Jail, charged with destruction of the press and treason.

Governor Ford arrived in Carthage and found that militia troops from various counties had been summoned against his previous orders.  He found that the militias were operating under the authority of a Council of Officers which included Colonel Levi Williams, Major Mark Aldrich, Captain William Grover and Captain Jacob Davis. This Council of Officers wielded more power than the Governor and even overruled various suggestions of Governor Ford.  Years later, Governor Ford admitted he had his own plans to force the Mormons from his state.

On June 26, a meeting of the Hancock County Vigilance Committee of Safety had been reconvened to determine what should be done to Joseph and Hyrum.  It was ordered in that meeting that one of two outcomes would result:  That Joseph and Hyrum would be attacked in jail and killed and/or Nauvoo would be attacked.