Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism,
was tarred and feathered on March 24, 1832. Here are several
old accounts of this incident. Warren Waste was involved. Some
of the accounts are Smith's highly imaginative version, others
are more factual.
The following autobiographical sketch
is part of a series, "History of Brigham Young," published
in the Millennial Star, 18631865. The "History of
Luke Johnson" appeared first in the Deseret News of May
19, 1858. Also see the biographical sketch, Luke S. Johnson.
of Luke Johnson
Tarring and feathering of Joseph
Smith, founder of the Mormons. "Satan Came Also"
George A. Smith recalls the unusual
characters and spiritual manifestations of the early Kirtland
period, especially Ezra Booth. Joseph and Sidney tarred and feathered.
Dedication of the House of the Lord at Kirtland. The bank failed
because Warren Parrish and other apostates embezzled funds. Councils
and trials were held constantly in Kirtland.
Joseph tarred and feathered
These nine letters had been republished
several times as evidence against "Mormonism;" and
his apostacy culminated in collecting a mob who tarred and feathered
Joseph Smith, and inflicted upon his family the loss of one of
its number at Hyrum, Portage county, Ohio.
Living in Johnson home
Mob seize him
Joseph Smith was occupying the room
of a house brother Johnson was living in, at the same time; it
was a two story building, had steps in front. The mob surrounded
the house, the twins being afflicted with measles, Joseph was
lying upon a trundle bed with one of them. The mob rushed in,
gathered up Joseph while in his bed, took him out in his night
clothes, and carried him out on to the top of the steps.
Joseph got a foot at liberty and
kicked one of the men, and knocked him down off the steps, and
the print of his head and shoulders were visible on the ground
in the morning.
Warren Waste, who was the strongest
man in the western reserve considered himself perfectly able
to handle Joseph alone, but when they got hold of him Waste cried
out, "do not let him touch the ground, or he will run over
the whole of us." Waste suggested in carrying him to cross
his legs, for they said that would make it easier for the Prophet,
but that was done in consequence of the severe pain it would
give to the small of the back.
Joseph tarred, etc.
He was daubed with tar, feathered
and choked, and aquafortis poured into his mouth.
Aqua fortis, in the old chimistry, is now called nitric acid.Webster's
1828 American Dictionary
Doctor backs out
Dr. Dennison had been employed to perform a surgical operation,
but he declined when the time came to operate.
Alarm, mob flees
The liquid they poured into his mouth was so powerful, that it
killed the grass where some of it had been scattered on the ground.
Joseph is reported by the mob to have said, be merciful, when
they told him to call upon his God for mercy. They immediately,
as he began to pray, heard an alarm which made them think they
were about to be surprised, and left suddenly.
Sidney also tarred and feathered, crazy
Sidney Rigdon, who resided near by, had been dragged by the heels
out of his bed at the same time, and his body stripped and a
coat of tar and feathers applied. The next morning he was crazy,
his head greatly inflamed and lacerated.
Joseph finds his way
Joseph found his way in from the light of the house, the mob
having abandoned him. While he was engaged in getting off the
tar by the applicaton of grease, soap and other materials, Philemon
Duzette, the father of our celebrated drummer, came there, and
seeing the Prophet in this condition, took it as an evidence
of the truth of "Mormonism," and was baptized.
These circumstances exposed the life of the child, the measles
struck in and caused its death, and the whole of this persecution
was got up through the influence of those apostates; and it made
it necessary to keep up a constant watch lest some violence should
Fate of Warren Waste, Dr. Dennison
Luke Johnson informed us that Warren Waste was afterwards a cripple,
rendered so by weakness in the small of the back, and Dr. Dennison
died in the Ohio Penitentiary where he was incarcerated for procuring
an abortion, which caused death; Luke's history does not mention
the fate of Warren Waste but does say that Carnot Mason "had
an attack of the spinal affection" and Dr. Dennison died
in prison (does not cite offense).
Joseph moves to Kirtland
Joseph soon after located in Kirtland . . . .