Question: Was Joseph Smith responsible for an assassination attempt on former Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs?

Table of Contents

Question: Was Joseph Smith responsible for an assassination attempt on former Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs?

An unknown assailant shot former Missouri governor Boggs through his window, severely wounding him

6 May 1842
an unknown assailant shoots former Missouri governor Boggs through his window, severely wounding him. Later, John C. Bennett encourages Boggs to press charges against the Mormons for their alleged role in the attack.

It was assumed that Orin Porter Rockwell and the Latter-day Saints were responsible for the shooting

8 August 1842
a warrant is issued for Joseph Smith’s extradition to Missouri to face charges in the attempted murder of Boggs; the claim is that Joseph Smith was an “accessory before the fact,” and encouraged Orin Porter Rockwell in the deed. Joseph easily proved he had been in Illinois on the day of the shooting (hundreds of miles from Missouri) and obtains a writ of habeas corpus.
December 1842
the state Supreme Court of Illinois finds that the writ voiding the governor’s warrant was illegal. However, Joseph went before a federal judge to again challenge the warrant, and this court found that the warrant “lacked foundation” since it went beyond the statements which Boggs had made in his affidavit. The state Legislative Assembly considers repeal of the Nauvoo charter, but does nothing.
February 1843
Joseph Smith announces he will run for President of the United States.
June 1843
Missouri again attempted to extradite Joseph for trial. Joseph proceeded to Nauvoo, was welcomed by cheering crowds, and was again granted a writ of habeas corpus by the Nauvoo municipal court, voiding the warrant. The city council then made it illegal to arrest Joseph within Nauvoo, and gave the mayor (Joseph Smith, since the excommunicatin of Bennett) power to approve any outside warrants. This only increased the non-Mormons’ sense that Joseph was combining religious and civil power in an effort to put himself “beyond the law.”
12 July 1843
Joseph dictates the first written record of the revelations on plural marriage: DC 132:.

Notes