Question: Other than the story of Thomas Lewis, are there other accounts of men being castrated by Mormons in the 1850s?

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Question: Other than the story of Thomas Lewis, are there other accounts of men being castrated by Mormons in the 1850s?

One other event from journals in 1859 reports an unnamed bishop supposedly castrating someone because they wanted to marry their girlfriend

One other event from journals in 1859 reports an unnamed bishop supposedly castrating someone because they wanted to marry their girlfriend. Snow is named by one source in the 1859 account; given Brigham's reaction to the first event, it seems unlikely that Snow would do the same thing again.

His inclusion in an account of the second event may well be due to conflation, which may demonstrate how unusual such events were. It may be that rumor and frontier "urban legend" confused the Snow story with the passage of time.

As a presiding Bishop, Snow became increasingly unpopular with members in his area, and by 1860 was accused of malfeasance with tithing funds. Snow admitted to mismanagement, but denied any attempt to willfully defraud the Church. (The same patience for Snow's weaknesses was also manifested in this case; he was forgiven by his congregation and the general authorities, even while they still insisted that he bore responsibility for his mismanagement.)

The Lewis affair was much talked about among Snow's critics in 1860; it may be that the rumor mill was already in motion by 1859.[1]

There are no names given for the 1859 "event," and it is not known if this was just rumor, or who the participant(s) and victim were.

Hosea Stout's diary describes Henry Jones being castrated by several persons "disguised as Indians" after dragging him "out of bed with a whore"

There is an account in Hosea Stout's diary which reads:

Saturday 27 Feb. 1858: "This evening several persons disguised as Indians entered Henry Jones' house and dragged him out of bed with a whore and castrated him by a square & close amputation."

Jones was later killed, and the anti-Mormon newspaper Valley Tan printed an affidavit from Nathaniel Case claiming that Jones' bishop had plotted his death with several other members.[2] If true, Jones was not attacked for trying to marry someone, but for adultery with a prostitute. Reportedly, the murder of Jones and his mother sprang from accusations of incest.[3]

There is no evidence linking the attack on Jones to anyone but local members. Joseph Hancock was found guilty of second degree murder in 1890.[4]

Notes

  1. Peterson, 126–133.
  2. Nathaniel Case, affidavit of 9 April 1859, sworn before John Cradlebaugh, Judge of Second Judicial District, Utah, USA. See The Valley Tan (19 April 1859).
  3. Richard H. Cracroft, "review of Orrin Porter Rockwell: Man of God, Son of Thunder by Harold Schindler," Brigham Young University Studies 24 no. 3 (1984), 389.
  4. Andrew Jenson, LDS Church Chronology: 1805–1914 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1914), entry for 22 March 1890. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)