Famous Trials

The Carthage Conspiracy
(Joseph Smith Murder) Trial


Nauvoo Expositor:
"Abominations and  Whoredoms"

Order to Destroy Press:
"Better to Smash than to Live"

       The murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith (siege of Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844)
Surrender of Smith:
"As a Lamb to the Slaughter"
Eyewitness to "the Martyrdom" (Taylor's Account)
Embellished Eyewitness Account of Murders 
the Defendants
The Carthage Conspiracy Trial: An Account
by  Douglas Linder  (c) 2010 

One of the most consequential crimes in American history occurred on a summer day in 1844 when a mob stormed a jail in Carthage, Illinois and murdered  Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum.  The killing of Joseph Smith, the charismatic founding prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, America's most important homegrown religion, led to a schism among Mormons and the trek west to Utah of Brigham Young and his followers.  The story of the 1844 murders and the trial that followed is much less known than it deserves to be--largely owing to the over-sensitivity of American textbook writers on all matters religious.  Events so pivotal in the history of the Mormon Church, which today boasts a worldwide membership of....
Famous Trials Homepage
  Links &