Question: Was counterfeiting a crime that was "worthy of death" among 19th century Mormons?

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Question: Was counterfeiting a crime that was "worthy of death" among 19th century Mormons?

There is no historical evidence that any such punishment was ever applied to such perpetrators

Critics Jerald and Sandra Tanner use a quote from Brigham Young to imply that the penalty for counterfeiting is death by "blood atonement."

Brigham Young declared: "I swore by the Eternal Gods that if men in our midst would not stop this cursed work of stealing and counterfeiting their throats should be cut"[1]

The quote in context:

Wednesday, 24 -- I met with the brethren of the Twelve. We investigated several orders purporting to be drawn by J. Allen, Lieut. Col., signed by James Pollick; which I requested should be burned. I swore by the Eternal Gods that if men in our midst would not stop this cursed work of stealing and counterfeiting their throats should be cut.

There is no doubt that Brigham had harsh feelings toward those who committed crimes. And again, there is no historical evidence that any such punishment was ever applied to such perpetrators.

Notes

  1. ↑ "Manuscript History of Brigham Young," February 24,1847, typed copy.