I remember a day when I realized how much confusion could have been avoided had Joseph Smith lived longer. I pulled the covers over my head and wept great wracking sobs.
When the news started rolling out about the attack on the U.S. Capitol, it was obvious to me that there were parallels between the mob of January 2021 in Washington, DC, and the mob of June 1844 in Carthage, IL.
- The 1844 press had agitated for overthrow of a legitimately elected rule, with the Expositor laying the groundwork for suspicion and the Warsaw Signal actively calling for violence, “War and extermination is inevitable! Citizens ARISE ONE and ALL!!!-Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! to ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!!” 1
- The Carthage Greys were posted to protect Joseph Smith, but they were instructed to avoid loading their guns and rifles.
- The individuals attacking gathered a distance from Carthage and whipped themselves into a “righteous” anger before attacking, based on reports under oath by those who were at that gathering.
- Many individuals attacking had painted their faces (though it doesn’t seem the folks who attacked on Jan 2021 intended to hide their identities).
- Some of those attacking were harmed during the attack.
Luckily, no elected officials were shot on 6 January 2021. In this, the attack of June 1844 achieved a higher degree of lethality, at least on the part of the intended victims.
I hadn’t bothered posting anything about this earlier because it seemed to me a comparison that didn’t need to be pointed out. However someone I care about, who is active on social media, indicated that they had not seen any comments comparing Jan 2021 to Jun 1844.
So with this, I consider that lack of comment on the obvious to be rectified.
- Thomas Sharp, Editorial, Warsaw Signal, June 11, 1844, at http://www.sidneyrigdon.com/dbroadhu/IL/sign1844.htm#0611 on 11 Jan 2021. ↩