Criticism of Mormonism/Books/No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith/Chapter 23

Table of Contents

Response to claims made in "Chapter 23: Into Hiding"

A FairMormon Analysis of: No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, a work by author: Fawn Brodie
Claim Evaluation
No Man Knows My History
Chart.brodie.ch23.jpg

Response to claims made in No Man Knows My History, "Chapter 23: Into Hiding"

Jump to Subtopic:


Response to claim: 323 - There was a rumor that Joseph had predicted that Governor's Boggs and Carlin would meet a violent death

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

There was a rumor that Joseph had predicted that Governor's Boggs and Carlin would meet a violent death.

Author's sources:
  1. History of the Church 5:50.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

Joseph denied the rumor in the Wasp. Carlin wrote the following to Joseph Smith,

In reply, I can in truth say that I do not entertain or cherish hostile or revengeful feelings towards any man or set of men on earth; but that I may have used strong expressions in reference to yourself, at times when my indignation has been somewhat aroused by repeated admonitions of my friends (both before and since the attempt to assassinate Ex-Governor Boggs) to be upon my guard; that you had prophesied that Boggs should die a violent death, and that I should die in a ditch, all this, however, if true, I looked upon as idle boasting until since the assassination of Boggs, and even since then, in reference to myself, I cannot view it in any other light, because whatever your feelings may have been towards Boggs, the mere discharge of an official duty on my part, enjoined upon me by the constitution and laws of this state, and of the United States, could not possibly engender feelings of such deep malignity. Be assured that this matter gives me no uneasiness, nor would the subject now have been mentioned, had you not requested a reply to your inquiries.

I have seen your denial published in the Wasp, of the prediction, attributed to you, of the death (or assassination) of Governor Boggs; be that true or false, nothing has contributed more towards fixing the belief upon the public mind, that you had made such prediction, than the repeated statements of a portion of your followers, that the manner of his death had been revealed to you, and their exultation that it needs must be fulfilled.[1]


Response to claim: 328 - Joseph threatened to have houses burned if tavern owners in the village of Paris did not let them stay for the night

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

Joseph threatened to have houses burned if tavern owners in the village of Paris did not let them stay for the night.

Author's sources:
  1. History of the Church 5:211.

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: The author has stated erroneous information or misinterpreted their sources

There is a bit more to the story than the author states.

Here is the entry from History of the Church:

When I was going up to Missouri, in company with Elder Rigdon and our families, on an extreme cold day, to go forward was fourteen miles to a house, and backward nearly as far. We applied to aIl the taverns for admission in vain: we were "Mormons," and could not be received. Such was the extreme cold that in one hour we must have perished. We pleaded for our women and children in vain. We counseled together, and the brethren agreed to stand by me, and we concluded that we might as well die fighting as to freeze to death.

I went into a tavern and pleaded our cause to get admission. The landlord said he could not keep us for love or money. I told him we must and would stay, let the consequence be what it might; for we must stay or perish. The landlord replied, "We have heard the Mormons are very bad people; and the inhabitants of Paris have combined not to have anything to do with them, or you night stay." I said to him, "We will stay; but no thanks to you. I have men enough to take the town; and if we must freeze, we will freeze by the burning of these houses." The taverns were then opened, and we were accommodated, and received many apologies in the morning from the inhabitants for their abusive treatment.[2]


Response to claim: 331 - Joseph was accused of sending Porter Rockwell to kill Lilburn Boggs

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

Joseph was accused of sending Porter Rockwell to kill Lilburn Boggs.

Author's sources:

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

This is correct, although Rockwell denied it.


Response to claim: 332-333 - Joseph had a bar installed in the Mansion House but removed it at Emma's insistence

The author(s) of No Man Knows My History make(s) the following claim:

Joseph had a bar installed in the Mansion House but removed it at Emma's insistence.

Author's sources:
  1. "Memoirs of President Joseph Smith," Saints' Herald, Jan. 22, 1935, p. 110.
History of the Church 6:111, 429"

FairMormon Response

Fact checking results: This claim is based upon correct information - The author is providing knowledge concerning some particular fact, subject, or event

The Mansion House was used as a hotel at the time.

Ordinance on the Personal Sale of Liquors.

Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of Nauvoo, that the Mayor of the city be and is hereby authorized to sell or give spirits of any quantity as he in his wisdom shall judge to be for the health and comfort, or convenience of such travelers or other persons as shall visit his house from time to time.

Passed December 12, 1843.

Joseph Smith, Mayor.

Willard Richards, Recorder.[3]

The second citation, History of the Church 6:429, makes no mention of the bar or of Emma asking Joseph to remove it. It is possible that the citation has a typographic error.


Notes

  1. History of the Church 5:50.
  2. History of the Church 5:211.
  3. History of the Church 6:111