On June 27, 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred—killed by a mob that attacked them in Carthage Jail. Joseph “sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so [did] his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!” (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3). The original jail in Carthage, Illinois, has been carefully restored and is about a 30-minute drive from Historic Nauvoo. Missionaries lead tours there, where visitors learn about the ministry of Joseph Smith and the final days in the life of Joseph and Hyrum. For information about visiting Carthage Jail, click or tap here.
At Carthage Jail, visitors also learn about two other men, Elders John Taylor and Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They were in the jail when the mob attacked, and they survived. The Church itself also survived, as Apostles and others built on the foundation the Lord had established through His servant Joseph Smith.
Learn about the history and significance of Carthage Jail, where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred.
Learn about Latter-day Saints’ recollections of the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, recorded in letters, journals, poetry, newspaper editorials, and section 135 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
These artifacts are perhaps the most intimate remembrance of the martyrdom of Hyrum Smith: they are the clothes Hyrum was wearing when he was killed, the watch he carried in his pocket that day, and a pair of sunglasses he owned.
June 27, 1844, was a dark day in Nauvoo, Illinois, as Church members received word that their beloved Prophet, Joseph Smith, and his brother Hyrum had been killed at Carthage Jail. Friends guarded their bodies in Carthage until the next day, when they were brought home to Nauvoo.
This watch was in John Taylor’s vest pocket during the martyrdom at Carthage Jail, and Brother Taylor, who later became President of the Church, believed that it saved his life.
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