Question: Was Irvine Hodge murdered by Nauvoo policemen?

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Question: Was Irvine Hodge murdered by Nauvoo policemen?

The statement allegedly made by Brigham Young actually comes from a Strangite high council record

The critical book One Nation Under Gods claims that "Mormon dissenter" Irvine Hodge was "presumably" murdered by Nauvoo policemen because he threatened to "expose every Mormon who had been involved in stealing from non-Mormons." [1] The author cites the following sources to support his claim:

  • William Hall, The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, 31-34.
  • D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Signature Books, 1994), 217, 651.
  • Brigham Young. Quoted on an undated page of statements by Jehiel Savage, Charles B. Thompson, George J. Adams, and Joseph Younger.

The author neglects to tell us that the "Brigham Young" statement he quotes is part of a document that is "(apparently in the same handwriting) of the minutes of the high council at Voree, Wisconsin, 6 Apr. 1846, of the followers of James J. Strang, Document 6, Strang Manuscripts, Beinecke Library" [Quinn, 217 n. 173]. So, this is yet another of the Strangite claims about violence upon which the author relies — often without disclosing it. The Brigham Young statement is therefore hearsay, and even the portion quoted by Quinn says nothing of Hodge's threats to reveal secrets or harm others. The author's presentation of it as a source is misleading.

Brigham Young asked the dying man "Who stabbed you?"

The author says only that Hodge was murdered because of his threats against Brigham Young, Nauvoo policemen, and threats to tell about thefts from non-Mormons. Yet, even the author's source provides more detail:

[William] Smith was a friend of Hodge's brothers, who were under arrest in Iowa for robbery and murder. [William] had warned the Hodge brothers to avoid arrest by fleeing Nauvoo, where they were apprehended. Then Smith had tried to get the Nauvoo police to allow the men to escape and even attempted to provide bail for one of the accused murderers. Furious that Nauvoo authorities had aided in the arrest of his brothers, Hodge threatened to expose everyone involved with them in stealing from non-Mormons.[2]

Thus, there was much more to the story—Hodge wanted the Mormons to help two accused robbers/murderers thwart justice. Only when they refused did he attempt to blackmail them. Hodge is not a simple 'upstanding citizen' being silenced because he wants to be a whistle-blower on Mormon perfidy.

One Nation Under Gods also does not tell us that Brigham Young asked the dying man "Who stabbed you?" but "with Nauvoo policemen standing over him, Hodge refused to answer."[3] Thus, if the police were guilty of the murder (here Quinn and the author are frank enough to admit this is a presumption) there is evidence which may help exonerate Brigham Young. If Young ordered the murder, why be on hand to meet the dying man?


Notes

  1. Richard Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, Endnote 41-43, page 552 (hardback); page 550 (paperback).
  2. D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Signature Books, 1994), 217.
  3. D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Signature Books, 1994), 217.