, Journal Excerpt, 23–27 June 1844; handwriting of ; nineteen pages; in Willard Richards, Journal, CHL. Portions of some entries were written in pencil before they were overwritten in ink.
JS’s journal, kept by , ended with the entry of 22 June 1844, just before JS left , Illinois, in company with Richards, , and . Richards, who remained with JS until the moment of JS’s death on 27 June, evidently left JS’s journal in Nauvoo when the four men departed for , Illinois. Richards, however, recorded in his own journal many of the events of the last five days of JS’s life. These events include JS’s arrival on the bank in on the morning of 23 June and his trip to Carthage, during which JS and Hyrum gave themselves up to authorities on the charge of treason. Richards’s journal also recounts JS’s activities in Carthage during the days preceding his and Hyrum’s deaths. The material Richards recorded in his own journal during this time is in the same format and style as the record he had been keeping for JS. Richards’s hasty, terse notations and precise attention to details—illustrated by his practice of recording the specific times events occurred—indicate that he continuously carried his journal with him and recorded many of the events as he witnessed them, possibly with the intention of using the record to fill in JS’s journal at a later date. Richards’s journal entries for 23–27 June 1844 provide a contemporaneous firsthand account of JS’s activities during the last five days of his life, and they are reproduced here in full. Richards first inscribed portions of these entries in pencil and then rewrote them in ink. In a few cases, while overwriting, he skipped or altered the original penciled text. The transcription here reproduces the final ink version and does not capture the slight variations in the penciled text.
For additional details on the events leading to the deaths of JS and Hyrum Smith, see Oaks and Hill, Carthage Conspiracy.
Oaks, Dallin H., and Marvin S. Hill. Carthage Conspiracy: The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975.
3.15— P.M. The guard have been more severe in their ope[r]ations— threat[e]ning among themselves or telling what they would do when the was war <was> over— one would sell his farm and move out of the state if Smith staid.—— sung. “poor way faring man of grief—” read from Josephus
4. o clock changed guard.—
4.15— Joseph commen[ce]d conve[r]sing with the guard about Law &c— & & — Convesd [conversed] some till 5–15:— 5–20— — retur[ne]d from town and said was surrounded— by a mob & had gone to and suggested that th[e]y would be safer in the jail Joseph said after supper we will go in— went out.— and Joseph said to — If we go in the jail will you go in with us.— — answe[re]d— Bro Joseph you did not ask me to cross the with you— you did not ask me to come to .— you did not ask me to come to Jail with you— and do you think I would forsake you now.— But I will tell you what I will do— if you are condemnd to be hung for treason I will be hung. in your place stead & you shall go freee. Joseph you cannot.— said I will.— in a few minuts & before 6 o clok— before the jailor had come in his boy came in to bring some water [p. ]
This song was originally written as a fourteen-stanza poem in December 1826 by English poet James Montgomery, who titled it “The Stranger and His Friend.” Put to music in 1835, the song entered Mormon hymnody in 1840 when it was published in the first Mormon British hymnal—the “Manchester Hymnal”—under the direction of Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, and John Taylor. The song is a first-person account of a person befriending a stranger who finally reveals himself as Jesus Christ. (Walker, “John Taylor: Beyond ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief,’” 81–88.)
Walker, Jeffrey N. “John Taylor: Beyond ‘A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.’” In Champion of Liberty: John Taylor, edited by Mary Jane Woodger, 63–109. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009.
Hyrum Smith’s personal copy of Josephus’s writings was a one-volume 1830 edition translated by William Whiston and published in Baltimore by Armstrong and Plaskitt and Plaskitt & Co. (The Works of Flavius Josephus.)
The Works of Flavius Josephus. Translated by William Whiston. Baltimore: Armstron and Plaskitt and Plaskitt, 1830.
Markham had procured a pipe and tobacco for the ailing Richards and was returning to the jail when “a man by the Name of Stewart” told him to leave Carthage in five minutes. Markham refused, at which point Stewart charged him with his bayonet. Markham knocked him down and was quickly surrounded by the Carthage Greys, who warned him that he would be killed unless he left Carthage. The men eventually forced Markham onto his horse “with the points of their Bayonets” and escorted him out of Carthage. (Stephen Markham, Fort Supply, Utah Territory, to Wilford Woodruff, 20 June 1856, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, ca. 1839–1860, CHL.)
Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396.